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Field Guides Tour Report
Jan 16, 2020 to Feb 6, 2020
Jay VanderGaast & Uthai Treesucon

Participant Craig Caldwell captured this wonderful shot of a shimmering male Green Peafowl with part of his harem of peahens as they strolled along the track ahead of us at a forest reserve near Chiang Mai.

Each year I do this tour, I think back to the previous year and think "this tour can't possibly be as good as last year's", but so far, I'm happy to report, I've been wrong. Each and every trip I've done here has been superlative in almost every way imaginable, thanks to the combination of an incredibly diverse avifauna, one of my favorite cuisines in the world, and easily the most amazing, attentive ground crew on any tour I've done. This year's tour was no exception, as we roamed the country, tallying an astounding assortment of gorgeous birds, and enjoying exemplary service (and food) from Wat, Kaew, Nat, Jiang, and Jock. I'm just glad they don't weigh me before and after the trip!

All that said, the tour wasn't without its bumps, and one big bump in particular was a particular thorn in the sides of the guides, that being the elusiveness of one of the marquee birds of the tour--Spoon-billed Sandpiper. We spent more than a little time scouring the swarms of shorebirds in search of this rarity, striking out in our allotted time along the coast. But a change in our plans a few days later found us making one last visit to the Kok Kham Nature Reserve, and there, with the assistance of one of Uthai's innumerable local contacts, we finally laid eyes on the prize, and enjoyed long and satisfying views of a lone Spoonie feeding in the shallow waters of one of the salt pans. The number of votes this bird received as bird of the trip made it clear that it was well worth the effort to find this special bird.

Of course, there were plenty of other great birds to occupy our time before we connected with the main prize. A mixed flock of two other scarce waders--Asian Dowitcher and Nordmann's Greenshanks-- was another good find along the coast, as were uncommon species like Black-headed Ibis, Spot-billed Pelican, and Slender-billed Gull. Painted Storks, and a trio of kingfishers (Common, Collared, and Black-capped) added some much-needed color to the shorebird scene.

Meanwhile, in nearby Kaeng Krachan NP, we enjoyed our first taste of SE Asian forest birding, and what a taste it was! Four species of hornbills, including the difficult Rusty-cheeked, numerous woodpeckers, from the tiny Heart-spotted and Buff-rumped to both Greater and Lesser Flameback, and three colorful broadbills--Banded, Black-and-yellow, and Black-and-red--were among the highlights for many. But not to be overlooked were fantastic species like Violet Cuckoo, multiple Orange-breasted Trogons, nesting Large Woodshrike, stunning Sultan Tits, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, and many, many more. And the mammal show was pretty great too, with a memorable encounter with an elephant spraying itself down at one of the waterholes, some great close studies of the soulful-looking Dusky Leaf Monkeys, and my first ever views of Stump-tailed Macaque, also at a waterhole. Our time in the south concluded at Khao Yai NP, north of Bangkok, where a spectacular male Silver Pheasant displayed on the road ahead of us, a pair of Red-headed Trogons gave us a short but awesome show along the roadside, and a female Banded Kingfisher treated us to a long scope view up at the military checkpoint. Black-and-buff Woodpecker, a shimmering male Asian Emerald Cuckoo, brilliant Long-tailed Broadbills, a sneaky Eared Pitta (for almost everyone), some confiding Black-throated Laughingthrushes, a beautiful male Siberian Blue Robin, and gorgeous Asian Fairy Bluebirds were just a few of the others that enlivened our visit to the park. Mammals were pretty good here, too, and in particular, the two species of gibbons. A couple of White-handed Gibbons put on a great show as they foraged for figs in a fruiting tree along the road, while a couple of Pileated Gibbons were a bit more reticent, though, given that they are rarely seen, that show was pretty good, too! We had one final highlight in the south which I think deserves mention here, and that was our final lunch on the way back to Bangkok. It was a real treat to enjoy such a delicious lunch at that tiny restaurant in that small, out of the way town, especially given the fact that we were apparently the first foreign visitors the talented chef had ever entertained there! I'll bet we won't be the last--that soft-shell crab is worth the trip alone!

The excitement continued as we headed north to Chiang Mai, and headed into the various mountain parks in the northwest corner of the country. We kicked off our time here with my best encounters yet with the magnificent Green Peafowl at the Huai Hong Khrai Royal Project, than zipped south for a quick visit to Mae Ping NP. Brief though it was, the visit was definitely memorable, as we tallied a bunch of great birds including White-bellied and Great Slaty Woodpeckers (among 8 woodpecker species recorded here!), the dainty Collared Falconet, a pair of copulating White-rumped Falcons, Burmese Nuthatch, Red-billed Blue Magpie, and plenty more. Next up was a series of visits to some of the highest mountains in the country, starting at the highest--Doi Inthanon, at 8415 feet. In the crisp, clear air near the top, we reveled in our excellent looks at some gorgeous highland birds: gaudy Green-tailed and Mrs Gould's sunbirds, a beautiful male Blue-fronted Redstart, silvery-voiced Mountain Tailorbirds, feisty Yellow-cheeked Tits, and the complexly-plumaged Chestnut-tailed Minla. And in the summit bog, skulkers like Rufous-throated Partridge, Pygmy Cupwing, and the usually elusive White-crowned Forktail also blessed us with excellent views.

Further north, we danced along the border between Thailand and Myanmar on Doi Ang Khang and Doi Lang, picking up yet more fabulous birds in the process. On Ang Khang, we enjoyed Black-breasted and Dark-sided thrushes scrabbling around in a dank, mucky hollow, a Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker teed up atop a tall pine, and numerous Spot-winged Grosbeaks foraging in flowering trees at the agricultural station, while at the military camp at the border, a male Daurian Redstart, stern-looking Long-tailed and Burmese shrikes, and a surprise Eurasian Wryneck were among the highlights. And on Doi Lang, while the hoped-for Hume's Pheasants were essentially missed, we did tally a bunch of other great birds. On the west slope, Mountain Bamboo-Partridge, Gray-chinned Minivet, Fire-capped Tit (a scarce visitor here), Crested Finchbill, Black-throated Tit, Spot-breasted Parrotbill, White-browed Laughingthrush, Siberian Rubythroat, and numerous flycatchers (Sapphire, Ultramarine, Slaty-backed Little Pied, and Rufous-gorgeted, etc) kept us entertained. And our jaunt up the east slope rewarded us with great looks at Streaked Wren-babbler, Black-eared shrike-Babbler, Scarlet-faced Liocichla, Spectacled Barwing, some delightful Yellow-bellied Fairy Fantails, and a bonus pair of lovely Coral-billed Scimitar-Babblers!

By this point, our time in Thailand was rapidly drawing to a close, but we birded right to the end, finishing up our stay at Chiang Saen along the Maekong River, where we enjoyed a pair of River Lapwings on a river island (so technically in Laos), numerous ducks, including a handsome drake Red-crested Pochard on the nearby lakes, hordes of harriers, both Pied and Eastern Marsh, coming into their night roost. And on our final morning, a trip up to the Mae Fa Luang Arboretum treated us to a bunch of unusual thrushes, including Gray-winged Blackbird, Gray-sided, Chestnut, Eyebrowed, Dusky, and Naumann's (a rarity here) thrushes. A fitting finale to a wonderful trip.

A final thank you to our amazing ground crew who always make traveling in Thailand such a pleasure. And to Uthai, from whom I continue to learn so much about the Thai avifauna. And many thanks to all of you, too, for joining us on this adventure. I hope this trip has left you with many wonderful memories of the birds, places, and people of this lovely country. I look forward to seeing you all again on another tour.


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Shorebirds were plentiful when we visited the coastal areas. Participant Charlotte Byers shot this image of a mass of Sand-Plovers, with a couple of Curlew Sandpipers mixed in; can you pick them out?

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
LESSER WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna javanica) – In most places they were seen, they were generally in big flocks, though usually fairly distant. We finally got decent close views at the lakes around Chiang Saen.
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus) – Just two sightings both involving 4 birds. We had a quartet of these tiny geese both at the Km 80 fish ponds on our way from Kaeng Krachan to Khao Yai, and then our final day at Nong Luang.
GARGANEY (Spatula querquedula) – Twenty or more distant birds at Bang Tabun, then a much better scope view of a lone bird at Nong Luang. All were in eclipse pluamge. [b]
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata) – There were probably more, but all we could pick out among all the distant ducks at Bang Tabun was a single pair. [b]
GADWALL (Mareca strepera) – A scarce visitor to Thailand, so the group of 8 (4 males, 4 females) at Nong Luang just before we headed to the Chiang Rai airport was a significant number. [b]
EURASIAN WIGEON (Mareca penelope) – Several at a distance at at Bang Tabun, then nice views of a lone drake among the many whistling-ducks at Wiang Nong Lom. [b]
INDIAN SPOT-BILLED DUCK (Anas poecilorhyncha) – A dozen or more were at Wiang Nong Lom, but they all spent most of the time sleeping, so I'm not sure anyone actually got to see the spot on their bills!
NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta) – One of the easier ducks to pick out at Bang Tabun, and we had about 50 of them there, then afterward just a lone drake at Wiang Nong Lom. [b]
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (EURASIAN) (Anas crecca crecca) – Our only one was a single drake at Wiang Nong Lom, mixed in with all the whistilng-ducks. This bird, along with the drake pintail and wigeon, were all in breeding plumage. [b]
RED-CRESTED POCHARD (Netta rufina) – This rare vagrant was discovered a while back at Nong Luang, and the local boatmen were apparently doing quite well taking people out to photograph it. Luckily for us, they kindly directed us to the right area of the lake to view this lovely bird, a breeding plumaged male, from the road, and we enjoyed close scope views of it just before flying back to Bangkok. [b]
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
FERRUGINOUS PARTRIDGE (Caloperdix oculeus) – Heard one day at Kaeng Krachan. [*]
RUFOUS-THROATED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila rufogularis) – Our late afternoon visit to the summit bog at Doi Inthanon paid off when we spotted a group of 6 of these partridges feeding along the trail right at the start of the boardwalk. At one point they passed right underneath where we were standing on the boardwalk, though they were a bit too fast and elusive for our photographers.
BAR-BACKED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila brunneopectus) – Heard nearby at dusk at the Kaeng Krachan HQ, then again on Doi Ang Khang. We could even hear them moving through the leaf litter at one point, though they remained out of sight. [*]

Gray-winged Blackbird is a thrush species that is not common in Thailand, so we were quite pleased to find this beauty at the Mae Fa Luang Arboretum. Photo by participant Bill Byers.

SCALY-BREASTED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila chloropus) – Jiang spotted a pair of these feeding under a fruiting fig tree along the road at Kaeng Krachan, but only a couple of others saw them before they scuttled off into the forest.
GREEN PEAFOWL (Pavo muticus) – We had exceptional luck with these at the royal project site near Chiang Mai, tallying about a dozen of them including a handsome male with a harem of 8 peahens that came up onto the dike and then proceeded us as we walked along the roadway. Our usual views here are distant, but good scope views of males on the opposite side of the lake.
MOUNTAIN BAMBOO-PARTRIDGE (Bambusicola fytchii) – A group of these began calling along the roadside at Doi Lang, and two of them scurried across the road in front of us in response to a little playback.
RED JUNGLEFOWL (Gallus gallus) – It's always kind of fun seeing and hearing wild chickens. They really are a handsome bird, and we got to enjoy them on a bunch of days at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai particularly, with Robin spotting us our first ones in the underbrush along the road at the former.
HUME'S PHEASANT (Syrmaticus humiae) – This was a tough trip for this pheasant, as the habituated birds on Doi Lang had reportedly been shot some time earlier, and the remaining birds were shy and wary. Except for one morning, when there was only one photographer tent there, no birds were showing up at the baited area, and many birders and photographers alike spent a disappointing morning waiting quietly for the birds to appear. Our only sighting was away from this area, but only a few folks in the first van had a fleeting look at a bird that scuttled of the roadside and into the tall grass.
SILVER PHEASANT (Lophura nycthemera) – We had way better luck with this one, seeing three different birds, all males, with one strutting across the road in front of the vehicles, and pausing to do a drumming display before strolling up the slope and out of sight. Wow, what a bird! Both Diane and Terry chose it as their favorite bird of the southern part of the tour, and it was second favorite overall for the south.
SIAMESE FIREBACK (Lophura diardi) – It sure was nice to see these birds again at Khao Yai, where they've been hard to come by in recent years. We had a group of 5 cross the road ahead of us, the final one being a lovely male that strutted confidently in front of a truck that was coming the other way.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Small numbers at several aquatic sites, all of them in non-breeding plumage.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Cities and towns throughout. [I]
SPECKLED WOOD-PIGEON (Columba hodgsonii) – Unlike on the last couple of trips, the 8 birds that sat out in their usual spot on Doi Inthanon actually stayed there for quite a while, allowing everyone lengthy scope views for a nice change.
ASHY WOOD-PIGEON (Columba pulchricollis) – In their usual place behind the urinals at Doi Inthanon, though we only saw three this year. Unlike on previous trips, there were no surprised men at the urinals when the women in our group came to see the birds.
ORIENTAL TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia orientalis) – Surprisingly scarce and local on the tour route, and our only birds were a pair that fed at the baited section of road at Doi Lang while we waited in our makeshift hide for pheasants that never showed.
RED COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia tranquebarica) – Pretty common in the south, less so in the north.

A group of White-browed Laughingthrushes, emboldened by the promise of an easy meal, left their usual dense haunts to feed on the road on Doi Lang, allowing participant Robin LaFortune to snap this wonderful portrait of one of these usually elusive birds.

SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) – Pretty numerous throughout the trip.
BARRED CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia unchall) – Only a couple of birds were seen at Khao Yai, though we heard more on Doi Lang as well.
ASIAN EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps indica) – Singles on several days, including great views of one feeding calmly next to the road at Kaeng Krachan for the folks in the second van.
ZEBRA DOVE (Geopelia striata) – Mostly in the south, where they were particularly common on the grounds of the Rama Gardens.
PINK-NECKED GREEN-PIGEON (Treron vernans) – Up until a few years ago, we rarely saw this species on tour. Now they are regular both at Rangsit and right on the grounds of the Rama Gardens.
THICK-BILLED GREEN-PIGEON (Treron curvirostra) – Generally the easiest to find of the green-pigeons on this tour, as large flocks are fairly common at both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai.
YELLOW-FOOTED GREEN-PIGEON (Treron phoenicopterus) – I think the lone bird we scoped at Mae Ping National Park represents the first one of this species we've ever had on our Thailand tour!
PIN-TAILED GREEN-PIGEON (Treron apicauda) – As usual, our only ones were several birds teed up in the tall trees surrounding Wat Tham Pha Plong.
WEDGE-TAILED GREEN-PIGEON (Treron sphenurus) – Our only one was a solitary female we scoped along the road at Kaeng Krachan.
MOUNTAIN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula badia) – Most of pours were seen at Khao Yai, including one bold bird that flew in and landed just over our heads at the military checkpoint.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
CORAL-BILLED GROUND-CUCKOO (Carpococcyx renauldi) – We gave it a good try, but came away just hearing one calling from the dense undergrowth near our hiding place. [*]
GREATER COUCAL (Centropus sinensis) – Pretty common throughout in appropriate grassland habitat, and we saw and heard them regularly, with a couple of near misses when one flew low across the road in front of the van!
RAFFLES'S MALKOHA (Rhinortha chlorophaea) – Great looks at both members of a pair at Kaeng Krachan. The male especially resembles a small Squirrel Cuckoo.

We saw a number of Blue Flycatchers, including this lovely male Hill Blue Flycatcher, photographed by participant Bill Williams.

GREEN-BILLED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus tristis) – The only malkoha present along most of our tour route. We saw them several times in the south, beginning with a couple on our first afternoon at Wat Phai Lom.
ASIAN KOEL (Eudynamys scolopaceus) – In the south, these birds were recorded daily, mainly by voice, but with several seen well in the Bangkok region. Up north, we only heard them on a few days.
ASIAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx maculatus) – A shimmering male gave us spectacular views as he perched in a dead tree above the camping area at Khao Yai. Our only other one was a flyover at Inthanon.
VIOLET CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) – A good showing for this species this year, with a total of 5 birds seen at Kaeng Krachan, including three wonderful males on one day.
BANDED BAY CUCKOO (Cacomantis sonneratii) – We did well spotting our first one at the Kaeng Krachan campground, though it took a while to track it down. Up north we heard these birds calling at many sites, and saw our only other one at Mae Ping.
PLAINTIVE CUCKOO (Cacomantis merulinus) – A couple of juveniles on our first afternoon around Bangkok were the only ones until the final couple of days when we had a couple of sightings around Chiang Saen.
LARGE HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx sparverioides) – This is often a difficult species to actually see, so it was nice to get great scope studies of one on our very first afternoon at Wat Phai Lom. Our only other one was a flyover as we scoped the rice paddies near Inthanon Nest.
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
HODGSON'S FROGMOUTH (Batrachostomus hodgsoni) – Despite trying for these at several sites, we only had one response on Doi Lang, and that bird went quiet after calling one time. [*]
BLYTH'S FROGMOUTH (Batrachostomus affinis) – We had two of these calling from a dense bamboo stand near the road, but neither would budge from their hidden positions. [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
GREAT EARED-NIGHTJAR (Lyncornis macrotis) – This impressive, large nightjar gave us some good flyby views at dusk near Khao Yai, and some of us saw another at dawn a couple of days later as we searched for boobooks.
INDIAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus asiaticus) – Good numbers were along the roads of the Kaeng Krachan Country Club just after dark. There may have been one or two Large-tailed Nightjars as well, but we never confirmed that species.
Apodidae (Swifts)
BROWN-BACKED NEEDLETAIL (Hirundapus giganteus) – A group of seven performed some aerial manouvers overhead at Kaeng Krachan, giving good views in the process. A few more were seen less well at Khao Yai.
HIMALAYAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus brevirostris) – Pretty similar to the next species, but fortunately they don't overlap much. We had these mainly in the north, with a few also at Khao Yai.

The endangered Giant Nuthatch is always a big target on the mountains in NW Thailand, where it just creeps across the border from neighbouring Myanmar. We had no trouble tracking them down this trip, and enjoyed long looks as this individual sat and sang above the road on Doi Lang. Photo by guide Jay VanderGaast.

GERMAIN'S SWIFTLET (Aerodramus germani) – Numerous in the coastal plains around Bangkok and southward to Laem Pak Bia.
COOK'S SWIFT (Apus cooki) – Especially numerous on Doi Lang, where large numbers of them were streaming by overhead for most of the day. Best looks, though, were the low-flying birds at Doi Ang Khang, where we could even make out the white scaling on the underparts.
ASIAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus balasiensis) – Quite numerous at several sites in the south, including on the Rama Gardens grounds, with just a few birds seen up north.
Hemiprocnidae (Treeswifts)
CRESTED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne coronata) – A pair at the Mae Ping campgrounds were missed by a few folks, but that was made up at Mae Taeng, where at least 14 of these sleek birds were wheeling around overhead.
GRAY-RUMPED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne longipennis) – A couple of pairs were perched up in a leafless tree in the Kaeng Krachan campground, allowing us some great scope views.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – We didn't pick these up until late in the tour, at a lake on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, where we joined several local Thai birders in trying to track down a Tickell's Leaf-Warbler that had been seen there.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra) – A last-day addition from Nong Luang. [b]
GRAY-HEADED SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio poliocephalus viridis) – Only seen in the Chiang Saen area, where they were numerous in the marshy verges of several lakes.
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus) – Our first view was also our best, and most memorable, as we watched a bird pick its way gingerly along through the numerous shards of broken glass embedded in the top of a brick wall at Rangsit.
WHITE-BROWED CRAKE (Amaurornis cinerea) – We picked out three of these birds in the mats of floating vegetation at the km 80 ponds, with one bird holding still long enough for everyone to enjoy lengthy scope views.
RUDDY-BREASTED CRAKE (Zapornia fusca) – It was kind of surprising to see this bird strolling around in the open in the middle of a hot day at Mae Taeng, as I've never even seen one do this even at dawn or dusk!
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
INDIAN THICK-KNEE (Burhinus indicus) – Heard at the Kaeng Krachan Country Club, but their favored grassy area had once again been clean-cut, and we were unable to relocate them. [*]
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – Numerous at the various shorebird sites, but a flock of 1500-2000 roosting on the lakeshore at Nong Bong Khai was especially impressive.

Asian Barred Owlets popped into view several times, though none showed better than this individual along the main road at Kaeng Krachan NP. Photo by participant Bill Byers.

PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – A dozen or so distant birds at Bang Tabun left a lot to be desired, so a lone bird among some stilts right along the track at Laem Pak Bia was much appreciated. [b]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – Small numbers at the shorebird sites, with one serving as a suitable landmark for initially locating our Spoonie. [b]
PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis fulva) – Small numbers at Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia. [b]
RIVER LAPWING (Vanellus duvaucelii) – A pair of these resting with a Common Greenshank on the shore of the Maekong River were technically in Laos. They were also the first we've recorded on this tour (at least since 2004), and a lifer for me!
GRAY-HEADED LAPWING (Vanellus cinereus) – A flock of 20 birds flew past overhead at ban Waen Lake near Chiang Mai, and a bunch more were seen later that day at the Cho Lae rice paddies. [b]
RED-WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus indicus atronuchalis) – A nearly daily sight through most of the southern portion of the tour, with just a handful at a few select sites in the north.
LESSER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius mongolus) – This seemed to be the most numerous of the shorebirds at Pak Thale. [b]
GREATER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius leschenaultii) – Much less numerous than the Lessers, but there were still a good number around at the shorebird areas. [b]
MALAYSIAN PLOVER (Charadrius peronii) – Nice scope views of about half a dozen of these delicate little plovers on the Laem Pak Bia sand spit.
KENTISH PLOVER (KENTISH) (Charadrius alexandrinus alexandrinus) – Just a few birds at Pak Thale, though possibly somewhat overlooked among the many sand plovers. [b]
KENTISH PLOVER (WHITE-FACED) (Charadrius alexandrinus dealbatus) – We managed to find one of this distinctive, pale form along the Laem Pak Bia sand spit. [b]
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius dubius) – Seen only in the north at Mae Taeng and along the Maekong River. Looking good in their breeding plumage, unlike most of the other plovers.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) – A few distant birds at the km 80 ponds, and then quite a few more around Chiang Saen, where they seemed to spend as much time swimming as walking along the shoreline.

Oriental Pied-Hornbills were the most common of the four hornbill species that we saw. Photo by participant Robin LaFortune.

BRONZE-WINGED JACANA (Metopidius indicus) – A couple of birds at the Km 80 ponds were the only ones for the tour.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (SIBERIAN) (Numenius phaeopus variegatus) – Small numbers at Pak Thale (<20 birds), all of the white-rumped, Siberian variety, which might be split one day. [b]
EURASIAN CURLEW (Numenius arquata) – A flock with an estimated 1500+ birds on the mudflats at Pak Thale. Almost certainly there were some Far Eastern Curlews mixed in, but we never had good enough views to pick any out. [b]
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (SIBERIAN) (Limosa lapponica baueri) – Flocks of about 100 birds or so were at both Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia. [b]
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (MELANUROIDES) (Limosa limosa melanuroides) – Seen a bit more often than the above species, but with fewer birds seen overall. We did have a couple of nice flyovers of birds showing their striking black-and-white wing pattern. [b]
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Three birds at Kok Kham on our first visit there, then roughly 15 of them scattered around the salt pans at Pak Thale. [b]
GREAT KNOT (Calidris tenuirostris) – A group of 500+ of these chunky birds were at Laem Pak Bia, with about half as many at Pak Thale. [b]
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER (Calidris falcinellus) – Plenty of these fine sandpipers at Pak Thale this year, with an estimated 150-200 of them, and many showing very well. [b]
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – Also pretty common at the shorebird sites, with an estimated 250+ at Pak Thale being our biggest count. [b]
LONG-TOED STINT (Calidris subminuta) – Yellow legs and browner plumage than most of the other shorebirds present made these relatively easy to pick out. Largest numbers were 100+ at Pak Thale. [b]
SPOON-BILLED SANDPIPER (Calidris pygmaea) – Our first attempt at Kok Kham was thwarted when a Peregrine Falcon buzzed over the salt pans just as we were about to set up our scopes and start searching. Hundreds of shorebirds scattered, and only a small percentage of them returned. The next day was almost as frustrating, as we spent hours searching through thousands of birds spread across acres of salt pans, and couldn't pull one out. We reluctantly left the coast behind without this one in hand, and it looked like we might miss it altogether for the first time since a trip in 2004! But, we had one more chance, and on our way to Khao Yai, we detoured back to Kok Kham, where a friend of Uthai's was waiting to point out a Spoonie he'd found earlier that morning! It took some time to get everyone on the correct bird, as it was in a little ditch, and its bill was usually hidden by the berm and the water in which it was feeding, but eventually, we all had satisfactory views. We then dared to move a little closer, and our views went from satisfactory to fantastic! The runaway favorite as bird of the trip, with 5 folks--Robin, Kathy, Bill W., Steve, and Craig all choosing it as their favorite bird of the first half of the tour. [b]
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis) – Generally the most common Calidris here, and we had an estimated 250-300 birds at Pak Thale. [b]
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – Not a numerous species at the shorebird sites, but we saw up to 10 both at Pak Thale and on the Laem Pak Bia sand spit. [b]

We thought we were going to miss seeing the very rare Spoonbill Sandpiper, but we were not disappointed! Participant Craig Caldwell shot this video of the bird feeding along with several other shorebirds.
ASIAN DOWITCHER (Limnodromus semipalmatus) – One of the main targets of our visit to Laem Pak Bia, the other being Nordmann's Greenshank, and we found both species side by side, getting nice scope views of them. We counted a minimum of 28 birds there, though there could have been a few more hidden away. [b]
COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago) – We saw several snipe in the marsh at Wiang Nong Lom on our final afternoon, but only two birds flushed up to show the white trailing edge to their wings and give the characteristic calls that help separate them from the following species. [b]
PIN-TAILED SNIPE (Gallinago stenura) – Uthai and I walked the berms of an ideal looking rice paddy at Cho Lae, eventually flushing 5 snipe, none of which showed white trailing edges to the wings. Later, we flushed another one along the main track, that one giving the characteristic quacking that is so different from the call of Common Snipe. [b]
TEREK SANDPIPER (Xenus cinereus) – Four or five of these unique birds were well seen on the mud flats at Pak Thale, but evidently I missed a much larger flock there on one of our visits. [b]
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – Very few at the big shorebird sites, but we also had from 1-4 birds at a number of other sites throughout, including several on the river islands in the Maekong River, where they were technically in Laos. [b]
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus) – A lone bird with several Common Sandpipers for comparison was at the Mae Taeng Irrigation Project. [b]
SPOTTED REDSHANK (Tringa erythropus) – Up to 50 birds were seen on each of our visits to Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia. Highlight was of a close pair of birds facing off and posturing to each other, stretching themselves as tall as possible in order to intimidate the other. Quite a lovely bird even in non-breeding plumage; I would love to see one in full breeding dress one day. [b]
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – Not many overall, with a high count of only about 25 birds at Pak Thale. We also saw one in Laotian territory, resting with the River Lapwings on the banks of the Maekong River. [b]
NORDMANN'S GREENSHANK (Tringa guttifer) – With an estimated population of just 1000-2000 birds, this is a pretty rare species, so the 71 we tallied at Laem Pak Bia was a pretty significant count. [b]
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – Pretty common at the big shorebird sites, and we estimated 500+ on the best day at Pak Thale. [b]
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – Not typically to be found at the regular shorebird sites, but we had a few in the marshy verges of Bang Tabun, and another at Wiang Nong Lom. [b]
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus) – I think these were outnumbered by the Spotted Redshanks, and we only saw about 20-30 at the big shorebird venues. Easily told in flight by the very obvious white secondaries. [b]
Turnicidae (Buttonquail)
YELLOW-LEGGED BUTTONQUAIL (Turnix tanki) – A bird cowering on the edge of the pavement along a country road near Chiang Mai was either slightly injured or had just been caught off guard in the open. Either way, when the first van pulled up alongside it, it fluttered off and disappeared into the tall grass across the fence, never to be refound.

We saw a few Vernal Hanging-Parrots, but this one gave us a good view and demonstrated why they are so-named. Participant Bill Byers was quick on the draw and snapped this action photo.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
SLENDER-BILLED GULL (Chroicocephalus genei) – A rare, but perhaps increasingly regular visitor to the coastal region around the Gulf of Thailand. We've now seen them there in 3 of the past 4 trips, with no sightings at all prior to 2017. This year we found 3 birds loafing with a flock of Brown-headed Gulls. The pinkish hues to their breast and long slim blackish-red bills made them pretty easy to pick out. [b]
BROWN-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus) – The default gull in the region. [b]
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons) – Probably 20-25 of these tiny terns were seen regularly at the coastal sites.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – Up to 40 birds at Pak Thale, with smaller numbers at Laem Pak Bia and Bang Tabun. [b]
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – Mostly in small numbers at the coastal sites, with a high of about 30 one day at Pak Thale. [b]
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – Most numerous at the Km 80 fish ponds, where about 20 of them were patrolling the ponds. [b]
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – Up to 20 birds at the coastal sites. [b]
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii) – Only on a sandy island off the Laem Pak Bia sand spit, where we saw 3 of them roosting with other terns and gulls.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
ASIAN OPENBILL (Anastomus oscitans) – They may no longer nest at Wat Phai Lom (where 20,000+ were estimated to nest as recently as 10-15 years ago) but there was no shortage of these birds around the Bangkok region as well as the rice paddies in the north.
PAINTED STORK (Mycteria leucocephala) – Has become increasingly common in the Bangkok region in recent years, and we now expect to see them, where they were unlikely on the tour even just 10 years ago. Our high count of these beautiful storks was about 30+ birds at Bang Tabun.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ORIENTAL DARTER (Anhinga melanogaster) – We've now seen this species on 4 consecutive trips, after only a single record over the previous 16 tours! Only once have we had more than one though, and this year our lone bird was seen flying over at the Km 80 fish ponds.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LITTLE CORMORANT (Microcarbo niger) – In general, this is the default cormorant we had at most sites, though they were generally in small numbers.
INDIAN CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) – Other than at Bang Tabun, where there were about 100+ birds, this cormorant was not very numerous.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
SPOT-BILLED PELICAN (Pelecanus philippensis) – Just the second time we've had these birds on the tour going back to 2004, at any rate. We had a pair at Bang Tabun, where we also had a lone bird in 2018.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
YELLOW BITTERN (Ixobrychus sinensis) – Glimpsed by a couple of folks at Wat Tham Thawai, but then seen well by all at the Km 80 fish ponds, where we scoped a couple of birds perched on floating masses of vegetation.
CINNAMON BITTERN (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus) – Our lone bird was an injured bird we found next to the road near the Km 80 fish ponds. It seemed stunned, perhaps having collided with a passing vehicle, but otherwise unharmed, and I moved it out of the hot sun and into the shade where we can at least hope it recovered.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Small numbers at appropriate wetland habitats throughout.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – A total of 6 birds were seen over the course of the tour, the first coming at Wat Phai Lom on our first afternoon of birding.
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta) – Small numbers scattered at wetlands throughout, though I'll admit I give the white egrets short shrift once we've left the south, and don't always bother identifying them to species.

The lovely Spectacled Barwing proves the point that a bird doesn’t need splashy colours to be stunning. Sometimes a bold white eye-ring, a fluffy crest, and a few well-placed black bars is all it takes. Photo by participant Bill Williams.

INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Ardea intermedia) – Mostly in small numbers, though there were 20+ birds amongst a large gathering of Cattle and Little Egrets following behind a tractor at the Cho Lae rice paddies.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Arguably the most often seen of the white egrets. Sadly, we couldn't turn any of them into Chinese Egrets at Laem Pak Bia.
PACIFIC REEF-HERON (Egretta sacra) – Three dark-morph birds chased each other along the rocky point at the Laem Pak Bia sand spit.
CATTLE EGRET (EASTERN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) – Not as common as one might expect, but still seen widely in reasonable numbers.
CHINESE POND-HERON (Ardeola bacchus) – With all pond-herons being in non-breeding plumage at this time of year, and practically, if not totally, identical, this was the only species we could be certain of having seen, as it is the only one to occur in the north. It's almost certain we saw some Javan Pond-Herons as well.
STRIATED HERON (OLD WORLD) (Butorides striata javanica) – Just a few scattered birds, mainly at the coastal sites.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Debbie and Steve saw one roosting in the mangroves along the Laem Pak Bia canal, and we had a bird in juvenile perched on the very same log on two consecutive days at Kaeng Krachan.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
BLACK-HEADED IBIS (Threskiornis melanocephalus) – We only just started recording this species on the tour in 2017, but have since had a few every year. We had a total of 8 birds this trip in the Bang Tabun area, including several in a marshy area right next to the road.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Our only sighting was of a bird flying overhead at Bang Tabun, with its wings in such a tattered condition it was remarkable it could stay aloft!
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis ptilorhynchus) – We saw these in a variety of plumages, including a light morph bird that had us scratching our heads at first, until we noted the distinctive banding pattern on the tail.
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis cheela) – Mostly sen at Kaeng Krachan, including a couple of perched birds that offered reasonable looks despite their distance. We also had a single flyover at the Doi Ang Khang Agricultural Station.
RUFOUS-BELLIED EAGLE (Lophotriorchis kienerii) – While Uthai was trying to get folks a look at an Eared Pitta along a narrow trail at Khao Yai, those of us at the rear of the line had pretty good looks at an adult of this handsome eagle as it flew over the clearing we were in. The light wasn't great, but photographs confirmed the identification of this bird.
BLACK EAGLE (Ictinaetus malaiensis) – Wonderful views of this eagle as it soared overhead at Khao Yai on two days in a row. That shape, with the long, rather narrow wings, and well-splayed "fingers" was pretty distinctive.

Buff-rumped Woodpecker is one of the smaller woodpeckers in Thailand; a pair of them showed off nicely for us at Kaeng Krachan. Photo by participant Bill Byers.

STEPPE EAGLE (Aquila nipalensis) – This species is a rare winter visitor to the country, but this was apparently quite a good winter for them here. We visited a spot near Chiang Mai where these had been reported, and were treated to magnificent views of two birds as they circled low over the scrub along with a large number of Black Kites. The whitish wing coverts marked both individuals as immatures. [b]
RUFOUS-WINGED BUZZARD (Butastur liventer) – We scoped a fairly distant bird at the Rangsit Marsh, getting reasonable views, and later spotted another equally distant bird from the lunch restaurant near Mae Ping NP.
GRAY-FACED BUZZARD (Butastur indicus) – Another fairly distant bird that we managed to scope, this one at Kaeng Krachan NP. [b]
EASTERN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus spilonotus) – Only seen at the Wiang Nong Lom harrier roost, where about 30+ birds flew in to spend the night, including several beautifully plumaged males. [b]
PIED HARRIER (Circus melanoleucos) – Though about 50 or more of these birds eventually flew in to roost at Wiang Nong Lom, the show wasn't as spectacular as previous visits as the light had faded considerably before this species really started to arrive in numbers. Our best view actually came the previous day as we enjoyed beautiful looks at a gorgeous male flying low over the rice paddies at Mae Ai. Charlotte chose this as her favorite bird in the north. [b]
CRESTED GOSHAWK (Accipiter trivirgatus) – Few this year, with just two singles at Kaeng Krachan, and one at Khao Yai. In many ways, this bird reminds me quite a bit of the New World's Double-toothed Kite, right down to the dark mesial stripe and the puffy white undertail coverts.
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius) – There were also few of these seen this trip, with just one over the Tha Dan River at Khao Yai, and another at the Steppe Eagle site near Chiang Mai.
JAPANESE SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter gularis) – Good views of an adult that flew over as we watched the Red-breasted Parakeets near Khao Yai. The lack of black tips to the wings and the more strongly-banded tail helped to eliminate the similar Shikra and the photos really helped! This was a bit of a surprise, as the field guides don't show this species as wintering in this part of Thailand.
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans) – I'm pretty sure all of the birds we saw (and certainly the ones near Chiang Mai) were of the "Black-eared" subspecies, lineatus, which is a wintering species here. But it is possible that some of the birds seen between Khao Yai and Bangkok could have belonged to the resident form, govinda. [b]
BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus) – Not uncommon along the coast south of Bangkok.
EASTERN BUZZARD (Buteo japonicus japonicus) – I think everyone but me saw one of these fly past at the agricultural project on Doi Ang Khang. [b]
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
ORIENTAL BAY-OWL (Phodilus badius) – We were treated to a serenade by this interesting owl, but it just wouldn't get close enough for us to see. [*]
Strigidae (Owls)
COLLARED SCOPS-OWL (Otus lettia) – It literally took only a couple of minutes for us to track down a calling bird near the cabins at the country club and get everybody fantastic looks in the spotlight. I only every owling session could be so successful, so quickly!

Somewhat of a rarity in Thailand, this handsome Dusky Thrush was one of a number of scarce or irruptive thrushes that were wintering at the Mae Fa Luang Arboretum in the far north of the country. Photo by guide Jay VanderGaast.

ORIENTAL SCOPS-OWL (WALDEN'S) (Otus sunia modestus) – We were in the process of calling this bird in when Terri noticed it fly into a nearby tree, and we quickly had super looks at it, giving us another speedy, successful owling session!
SPOT-BELLIED EAGLE-OWL (Bubo nipalensis) – Heard in the late afternoon at Kaeng Krachan, giving a harsh screeching cry from across the river. [*]
COLLARED OWLET (COLLARED) (Glaucidium brodiei brodiei) – A widespread forest species which is often heard, but can be frustratingly difficult to actually see. We were pretty lucky this year, as we got great looks at the first one we actually tried for at Khao Yai. Nice spotting by Charlotte to locate this one on its canopy perch.
ASIAN BARRED OWLET (Glaucidium cuculoides) – By far the most often recorded owl of the tour, and not just by voice, as we saw at least a half dozen without much effort. Our first came our first afternoon at Wat Phai Lom, but our best views were at Kaeng Krachan, where we located a calling bird in a bare tree right next to the road.
SPOTTED OWLET (Athene brama) – Looking back over old trip lists, it seems we've been visiting this pair in Bangkok since at least 2004! Once again the birds proved very cooperative as they peered out of their roost hole in the temple.
BROWN BOOBOOK (Ninox scutulata) – Another quickly successful owling session, as it took under 2 minutes to pull this one into an overhead tree just before dawn at Khao Yai. Another pair of these owls woke us up several times in the middle of the night at Inthanon, making a wonderful array of noises, some of them not at all owl-like!
Trogonidae (Trogons)
RED-HEADED TROGON (Harpactes erythrocephalus) – Always the tougher of the two trogons to track down, and we only had one pair at Khao Yai. We had super looks though, first at a male that flew across the road and then stopped on an open perch for a good spell before vanishing off into the forest, and just after that his mate, who also perched in the open, though for a considerably shorter time.
ORANGE-BREASTED TROGON (Harpactes oreskios) – Two different males were seen during our walk to the stream crossings at Kaeng Krachan, both giving us long, fantastic looks as they sat quietly near the road. I'm pretty sure we ended up just walking away from both of them.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (Upupa epops) – Robin and Kathy found a bunch of these during an unusual afternoon break at our Inthanon hotel. I believe the number was 7 birds! That's a lot more than we saw the rest of the trip, during which we saw just one (or was it two). And that one was seen mainly (only?) by the folks in the lead vehicle as we were driving up Doi Lang.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
GREAT HORNBILL (Buceros bicornis) – All of our hornbills were seen only in the south, at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai. We had this one at both parks, with a couple of super flyovers at the former (man, those whooshing wings sound amazing!) and then our best views of a bird right overhead in a fruiting fig tree at Khao Yai. What a bird! Bill B's choice for best bird in the south.
RUSTY-CHEEKED HORNBILL (Anorrhinus tickelli) – For some reason, this species always seems much shyer than the other hornbills, the Oriental Pied especially. We could hear these birds off in the forest, and were pretty sure they were intent on visiting a fruiting fig tree right over the road, but for the longest time they refused to give in, and just gave a few tantalizing glimpses while the Oriental Pied Hornbills fed greedily right overhead. Eventually, hunger must have won out, as half a dozen birds finally flew into the fig tree, and we ended up with what were my best views yet of this bird.
ORIENTAL PIED-HORNBILL (Anthracoceros albirostris) – Common, noisy and conspicuous at the two big national parks in the south.
WREATHED HORNBILL (Rhyticeros undulatus) – I have yet to get those long, satisfying views of this species that I always desire, but have to say our sightings this trip were pretty nice. We had a great flyover from a pair of birds at Kaeng Krachan, followed by a brief but good look at a pair that perched in the canopy where we were sitting and waiting for a Blue Pitta to show at Khao Yai.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis) – We had single birds on a number of days throughout the tour, with plenty of excellent looks, though none better than the bold bird perched right along the canal at Laem Pak Bia, which allowed us to pull up right alongside it in our boat without even flinching! The race found here is bengalensis. [b]
BANDED KINGFISHER (Lacedo pulchella) – Can be a very tough bird to track down, but we had two nice encounters this trip, both with female plumaged birds. The first was at Kaeng Krachan, where another group had found one just off the road, and we had to wait patiently for them to finish before we moved into the forest for a look. The second was even better, coming in to a nearby tree at eye level, right by the viewpoint at Khao Yai. That one sat still for a long time, occasionally calling and regularly raising and lowering its crown feathers. This is the species that hooked Uthai on birdwatching back when he was researching gibbons at Khao Yai.
STORK-BILLED KINGFISHER (Pelargopsis capensis) – A distant bird was calling near dusk at Wat Phai Lom. I have yet to see this species. [*]
WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER (Halcyon smyrnensis) – This is usually quite a numerous bird, but it felt like we saw fewer than normal this year. Still we had some stellar views, including that one that absolutely shimmered in the beautiful early morning light at Huai Hong Khrai. What a magnificent shade of turquoise!
BLACK-CAPPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon pileata) – This handsome bird is a a winter visitor to the country. We found one our first afternoon at Wat Phai Lom, then had a few more sightings over the next few days in the coastal region, and a single at one of the waterholes at Kaeng Krachan. [b]
COLLARED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus chloris) – Though the original Collared Kingfisher was split into 6 species back in 2015, the birds in this region have retained the name. The current species still is comprised of 14 subspecies in 5 groups, so further splitting is still possible. This is primarily a species of mangrove regions, and we saw plenty of them in the coastal areas south of Bangkok, where the subspecies is humii.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
BLUE-BEARDED BEE-EATER (Nyctyornis athertoni) – This chunky, atypical bee-eater was seen well at both of the big national parks in the south, but the one we had perched above a clearing at Khao Yai was in far better light.

Gray Bushchats (the male pictured here) were a common sight on the scrubby mountain slopes of Doi Lang. Photo by participant Craig Caldwell.

GREEN BEE-EATER (Merops orientalis) – Though we first encountered these birds at Laem Pak Bia, just after our boat trip, most of our records came from the north, where we saw them often in open country.
BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops philippinus) – Only seen over the first couple of days around Bangkok, first and best at Wat Thian Thawai.
CHESTNUT-HEADED BEE-EATER (Merops leschenaulti) – Unlike the other Merops bee-eaters in the country, this one lacks the elongated tail streamers. We had some nice views of these in Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, but encountered our biggest group at Inthanon Nest, where a flock of 15-20 of them were spotted from the tower.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
INDOCHINESE ROLLER (Coracias affinis) – Pretty widespread, and regularly seen on prominent perches including power lines. One bird at Kaeng Krachan was especially cooperative and photogenic.
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis) – We had just one record of a single bird at Kaeng Krachan.
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
COPPERSMITH BARBET (Psilopogon haemacephalus) – These barbets became familiar to us pretty early on, as they were among the first birds seen on the hotel grounds in Bangkok. We went on to hear or see them often throughout the tour.
BLUE-EARED BARBET (Psilopogon duvaucelii) – Common at both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, though I think all of our sightings came at the former park. At Khao Yai we heard them often.
GREAT BARBET (Psilopogon virens) – The call of this one kind of reminds me of the calls of Golden-headed Quetzal in Ecuador! Most of our records were audio only, but we had a couple of nice views, first atop Doi Inthanon, then another (for Steven and me, anyway) on our last morning at the arboretum.
GREEN-EARED BARBET (Psilopogon faiostrictus) – Seen mostly at Kaeng Krachan, including one bird excavating a nest cavity near one of the waterholes.
LINEATED BARBET (Psilopogon lineatus) – Seen pretty often in open, deciduous woodland, and seemingly most numerous at Mae Ping NP.
GOLDEN-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon franklinii) – The common barbet voice in the mountains in the north, and seen regularly at high elevations.
MOUSTACHED BARBET (Psilopogon incognitus) – Only at Khao Yai and they proved a bit tricky to track down, though we heard them often. Eventually we all managed to get some kind of look.
BLUE-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon asiaticus) – Not uncommon in the north, where they were especially numerous and easy to see at the Doi Ang Khang Agricultural Station.

We saw the brightly colored Scarlet-faced Liocichla near the Thailand-Myanmar border when we visited Doi Lang. Photo by participant Charlotte Byers.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)
EURASIAN WRYNECK (Jynx torquilla) – This one was a bit of a surprise, flushing up from the roadside just below the army camp on Doi Ang Khang and perching briefly before flying off (into Myanmar, I think!). It posed just long enough for some to get bins on it, but by the time it registered in my brain what it was, it was already on the move again. [b]
WHITE-BROWED PICULET (Sasia ochracea) – We working on trying to see this tiny woodpecker along the road at Kaeng Krachan, but the bird was playing hard to get as it moved through the dense bamboo next to the road, teasing folks with occasional glimpses before moving back out of sight. Our work was made a bit tougher by the presence of a rather pushy Chinese birder who kept stepping in front of our group at inopportune times. I loved her enthusiasm, but she really needed to brush up on her etiquette!
HEART-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Hemicircus canente) – Literally the first bird we saw the first time we stepped out of the vans at Kaeng Krachan. Jiang pointed it out as it flew over the road, and luckily it stopped for a bit in the open near the road, and we all got nice views of it. The bird, a female, was the only we met up with all tour.
GRAY-CAPPED WOODPECKER (Yungipicus canicapillus) – Overall most Asian woodpeckers seem much shyer and more elusive than woodpeckers in the Americas, but this one bucks that trend, and doesn't usually prove to difficult to see. We had several sightings in the north including our first on a multi-woodpecker day at Mae Ping NP.
FRECKLE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos analis) – Not one we've seen often on this tour recently, but Uthai knew where there was a nesting pair near Phetchaburi, and we got to see them while we looked for the unfortunately absent thick-knees. Surprisingly, we had another sighting near at the Steppe Eagle site near Chiang Mai.
STRIPE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos atratus) – Another fairly easy to see species, this one is not uncommon in the north, where we had regular sightings on pretty much all the mountains.
BAY WOODPECKER (Blythipicus pyrrhotis) – We never heard one close enough to really have much chance. [*]
GREATER FLAMEBACK (Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus) – Though heard more widely, our only sightings of this one were at Kaeng Krachan, where they seem especially numerous and are not too difficult to see.
BUFF-RUMPED WOODPECKER (Meiglyptes tristis) – I had long wanted to see this tiny, well-marked woodpecker, so was especially excited to when we came across a pair feeding just over the road near the stream crossings at Kaeng Krachan. The pair of them foraged in the open for a lengthy period, giving us all great views.
BLACK-AND-BUFF WOODPECKER (Meiglyptes jugularis) – Excellent views of a pair that teed up in a tall, dead tree at our picnic lunch spot on our final day at Khao Yai.
BAMBOO WOODPECKER (Gecinulus viridis) – Heard a few times at several sites, but while Jiang, our driver, had one visit him near the vans at Khao Yai, the rest of us only got to hear them drumming.
COMMON FLAMEBACK (Dinopium javanense) – Best seen at Kaeng Krachan, where we had one around the same time as our first Greater Flamebacks, giving us a chance to take in the differences. Our only other ones were a pair at Mae Ping NP.
LESSER YELLOWNAPE (Picus chlorolophus) – Just one sighting of a foraging pair at Mae Ping NP, but they gave us great looks as they foraged near the roadside.

Siberian Rubythroat is a migrant to Thailand; we caught up with several of these beauties at various points on the tour. Photo by participant Robin LaFortune.

STREAK-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Picus viridanus) – Seen on two days at Kaeng Krachan, with long scope studies of a pair that stayed put atop a large bare tree.
LACED WOODPECKER (Picus vittatus) – One called a couple of times at the campground at Khao Yai, but never showed itself. [*]
GRAY-HEADED WOODPECKER (BLACK-NAPED) (Picus canus hessei) – I hadn't seen this one since my first tour several years ago, so it was great to get such terrific looks at a close male right next to the road at Kaeng Krachan.
BLACK-HEADED WOODPECKER (Picus erythropygius) – Mae Ping NP is a great place for woodpeckers, and this gorgeous species is especially numerous there. It can be pretty shy though, so it can be a bit of a challenge to get a clear view. But we managed, and had several excellent sightings of these beauties.
GREATER YELLOWNAPE (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) – Quite widespread, and we recorded them on a few days, but our first views at Kaeng Krachan remained our best.
GREAT SLATY WOODPECKER (Mulleripicus pulverulentus) – The largest living woodpecker remaining in the world (assuming the extinction of both Imperial and Ivory-billed woodpeckers). The mature deciduous forest at Mae Ping is a great place for these birds, but they can be pretty elusive and hard to see well. We heard these calling quite far from the road at first, but eventually had a couple fly across to the other side. Luckily, we somehow picked one up as it landed i the distance, and wound up with super scope views of the male. When they flew back across the road a short while later, they were joined by several more, and we saw a minimum of 6 birds, though Wat was sure he saw as many as 10! Both Diane and Debbie chose this as their favorite bird of the northern half of the tour.
WHITE-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus javensis) – Another large, elusive woodpecker from Mae Ping, and we fared really well with these two, getting fantastic views of a pair near the roadside.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
WHITE-RUMPED FALCON (Polihierax insignis) – This rare falcon was another Mae Ping specialty, and we were lucky to find a pair perched in a bare tree not far from the road. While we enjoyed our views and took pictures, we got to witness the pair copulating, so hopefully the population will be increasing soon!
COLLARED FALCONET (Microhierax caerulescens) – A few folks saw one behind our hotel during a brief break we had there just prior to our afternoon visit to Mae Ping. Our only other one was at the park itself. We'd spotted it a few times in the distance, but it vanished each time before we could get everyone a satisfactory look. We ultimately had to end the search so we trooped back to the vans, only to find it sitting placidly in a bare tree just above where we were parked. I think I may have caught a mischievous gleam in its eyes.
BLACK-THIGHED FALCONET (Microhierax fringillarius) – The lighting wasn't ideal, but we did have one of these tiny falcons at its usual hangout at Kaeng Krachan.
EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus) – Just a couple of sightings, with one at Rangsit, and another as we waited for the bats to emerge near Khao Yai. [b]
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – We may have gotten Spoon-billed Sandpiper much sooner had one of these not terrorized all the shorebirds at Kok Kham shortly after we arrived there the first time. There was a bit of a deja vu feeling the next morning when another flew over shortly after we'd arrived at Pak Thale to resume the search. Finally we also had a flyover near dusk at the Mae Ai rice paddies.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (Psittacula krameri) – A lone male teed up on a nearby shrub as we waited for the emergence of the bats near Khao Yai, the first I'd seen in the country. [I]

Radde's Warbler is generally a real skulker, but this one came out and posed nicely for us. Photo by participant Bill Williams.

GRAY-HEADED PARAKEET (Psittacula finschii) – Just a handful of birds on each of our visits to Mae Ping.
BLOSSOM-HEADED PARAKEET (Psittacula roseata) – Seen only from the tower at Inthanon Nest, where a flock of about 20 birds visited the flowering trees on the nearby hillside.
RED-BREASTED PARAKEET (Psittacula alexandri) – Good views of a bunch of these at dusk at their roosting site near Khao Yai. Our only other sighting was of a single bird flying over the campground at the park a couple of days later.
VERNAL HANGING-PARROT (Loriculus vernalis) – Folks in the second van spotted one teed up near the road as we headed down the hill at Khao Yai, and we quickly hopped out for incredible views. By the time we were able to radio the first van, they were well ahead, and it took a while for them to come back up, and of course, the bird flew off just as they arrived. Luckily, a few minutes later, it came back, and took up position on the exact same perch. Upon arrival, it demonstrated how these parrots came to be named by hanging upside-down briefly, and Bill B. quickly got a wonderful picture of it in that position, with its red rump fully exposed. We saw a few others in the park, but that was by far the most memorable one.
Eurylaimidae (Asian and Grauer's Broadbills)
BLACK-AND-RED BROADBILL (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) – It didn't look like it was in the cards for us to see this species, as searches in multiple territories at Kaeng Krachan all came up empty. But finally, at what was likely our last opportunity, we finally heard a response and soon had a pair of these stunning birds in our sights! Debbie's pick for best bird on the southern swing.
LONG-TAILED BROADBILL (Psarisomus dalhousiae) – Like many of the broadbills, this species can be hit or miss, and we'd already missed them at several promising locations when we finally got a hit, and were soon enjoying the tail-twitching antics of up to 4 calling birds at Khao Yai.
SILVER-BREASTED BROADBILL (Serilophus lunatus) – Exceptionally quiet this trip, and we only heard a lone bird call a couple of times at Kaeng Krachan. We tried hard to track it down, but once it went silent, our chances were slim. It could have been sitting anywhere in the dense tangle over our heads, watching. [*]
BANDED BROADBILL (Eurylaimus javanicus) – The nice thing about many of the broadbills is that once found, you can generally get good long looks at them, as they can be pretty lethargic. The pair we found along the river at Kaeng Krachan was a great example, as I they stayed put for a good 30 minutes or more after we left them and went for lunch. They were certainly still there when I wandered back down after eating. Charlotte singled these birds out as her southern favorites.
BLACK-AND-YELLOW BROADBILL (Eurylaimus ochromalus) – In my experience, this is usually the most easily found of the broadbills. Not sure why that is, but I've never yet had trouble with this species. Once again, Kaeng Krachan was the place for them, and we found them in two different parts of the park, though all our records came the same day.
Pittidae (Pittas)
EARED PITTA (Hydrornis phayrei) – Uthai's whistled imitations garnered a response from a dense thicket of vegetation along a trail at Khao Yai, and some hard work on his part eventually got many of the group a quick look a at the bird, though the narrowness of the trail meant that only a couple of people at a time were able to position themselves to see it. Sadly the bird lost interest before those of us at the back of the line managed to work our way up front.
BLUE PITTA (Hydrornis cyaneus) – We were so close on a couple of occasions at Khao Yai, but the birds were just too shy and wary for anyone to even get a glimpse. [*]
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
GOLDEN-BELLIED GERYGONE (Gerygone sulphurea) – A few were seen flitting around in the mangroves at Pak Thale.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
SMALL MINIVET (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus) – We usually only see this one in the Bangkok region, with the best site actually being the grounds of the Rama Gardens, where we did find two pairs on our first morning, with one pair being accompanied by a younger male.

The Doi Ang Khang area, near the border with Myanmar. Photo by participant Charlotte Byers.

GRAY-CHINNED MINIVET (Pericrocotus solaris) – Overall I felt that minivet numbers were quite low this year, and as the end of the tour approached, we still hadn't found this species. But we finally came across a pair on the west slope of Doi Lang, and wound up with some excellent close views.
SHORT-BILLED MINIVET (Pericrocotus brevirostris) – Just a few records in the northern mountain parks.
LONG-TAILED MINIVET (Pericrocotus ethologus) – We saw more of these than any of the other red minivets, mainly as we encountered a couple of larger groups, including a flock of 8 at Inthanon Nest. Very similar to Scarlet and Short-billed Minivets, but the red wing patch on this species includes an extra narrow finger of red on the tertials which the other species lack. Some of us saw this trait very well on a pair of birds at the army camp on the Myanmar border on Doi Ang Khang.
SCARLET MINIVET (Pericrocotus speciosus) – The most widespread of the red minivets and the only one likely in the southern parks. Our first were seen at Khao Yai, and I always enjoy the reaction people have when they see their first ones, as these birds are truly brilliant and striking.
ASHY MINIVET (Pericrocotus divaricatus) – Very few were seen. Our first was with a pair of Small Minivets at Wat Phai Lom, another was at Pak Thale, and we had three in a small mixed flock at Kaeng Krachan. [b]
BROWN-RUMPED MINIVET (Pericrocotus cantonensis) – Usually the most common of the three migrant minivets, though it was just marginally so this year, as there weren't many of any of the species around. We had a couple of sightingsat Khao Yai, with a high of 6 birds feeing in a flowering tree on the lower part of the road into the park. [b]
ROSY MINIVET (Pericrocotus roseus) – Usually the least numerous of the migrants, and there were very few around, though we did see a few birds each at both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, mainly as singles, and then a lone bird at the Huai Hong Khrai Royal Project. [b]
LARGE CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina macei) – Our only sightings came from Mae Ping NP, where they seem fairly common, but we also heard these birds a couple of times on Doi Lang.
BLACK-WINGED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Lalage melaschistos) – Regularly seen with mixed flocks both at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, with just one record up north on Doi Lang.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BLYTH'S SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius aeralatus) – Heard more often than seen, though we had a few nice encounters with this species in the northern mountains.
BLACK-EARED SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius melanotis) – A pair was moving through the roadside forest along with a mixed flock on Doi Lang, eventually coming close and showing beautifully for all.
CLICKING SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius intermedius) – We ran into these birds more often than we usually do on Doi Inthanon, and ended up seeing them really nicely several times. The name is a bit mis-leading, as I wouldn't describe their calls as "clicking".
WHITE-BELLIED ERPORNIS (Erpornis zantholeuca) – Very active and restless, and not always easy to see well, but we managed several excellent views at these small crested birds at Khao Yai, Inthanon, and Doi Lang, where they were easily excited by Collared Owlet imitations.

Another great bird we found at Kaeng Krachen was the handsome Sultan Tit. These are quite large, and have wonderful golden crests and bellies that contrast with their dark faces. What stunners! Photo by participant Bill Byers.

Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
BLACK-NAPED ORIOLE (Oriolus chinensis) – Pretty common in the south, particularly at Kaeng Krachan, where a dozen or more were hanging around a fruiting fig tree along the main road. Up north, we had just one sighting from the tower at Inthanon Nest. [b]
SLENDER-BILLED ORIOLE (Oriolus tenuirostris) – Very similar to the above species, but with a noticeable slimmer bill and narrower black eye line. We had just one bird, perched atop a tall pine along the road on the west slope of Doi Lang.
BLACK-HOODED ORIOLE (Oriolus xanthornus) – Not uncommon in the dry dipterocarp forest in the north, and we had some nice views at Huai Hong Khrai, Mae Ping, and from the tower at Inthanon Nest.
MAROON ORIOLE (Oriolus traillii) – We bumped into these beautiful orioles on several days in the northern mountains, with some especially good scope views at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station and on the west slope of Doi Lang.
Artamidae (Woodswallows, Bellmagpies, and Allies)
ASHY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus fuscus) – Thailand's only woodswallow. Seen pretty regularly through the tour, often perched on roadside power lines.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
LARGE WOODSHRIKE (Tephrodornis virgatus) – A birder who was camping at Kaeng Krachan showed us where he'd discovered a pair of these building a nest in the campground, and after a bit of a wait, one bird showed up with some nesting material and did some work on the nest, giving us some great views, my best yet, I think. [N]
COMMON WOODSHRIKE (Tephrodornis pondicerianus) – Not at all common on the tour route, and Mae Ping NP is probably the only place we can expect this species. We did find one bird there, though it wasn't too cooperative and only a few people got their bins on it before it took off for good.
BAR-WINGED FLYCATCHER-SHRIKE (Hemipus picatus) – Seen pretty regularly in forested areas throughout, often with mixed flocks, and a few times joining in with other species to mob in response to my Collared Owlet imitation.
Aegithinidae (Ioras)
COMMON IORA (Aegithina tiphia) – Seen pretty often in the south, with exceptional scope views of a bird that sat up in a dead tree for a long time at Rangsit Marsh.
GREAT IORA (Aegithina lafresnayei) – Only seen at Kaeng Krachan, where we had a few sightings, sometimes in the same flock as Common Iora, which allowed us to note the differences. This one lacks the obvious wing bars of Common Iora.
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
MALAYSIAN PIED-FANTAIL (Rhipidura javanica) – Though this is found throughout Thailand, we only encountered them in and around Bangkok, including on the grounds of the Rama Gardens. Called Sunda Pied Fantail in Uthai's field guide.
WHITE-THROATED FANTAIL (Rhipidura albicollis) – Generally a pretty elusive fantail, and our first one at Inthanon proved especially so, as no one really got a clear look at it. So it was fantastic to find a cooperative pair feeding at the edge of a clearing at Wat Tham Pha Plong. The scope views of those birds were my best ever of this fantail.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
BLACK DRONGO (Dicrurus macrocercus) – The common drongo of open, shrubby habitats, seen regularly throughout the tour.

We heard a few Indian Elephants, but this one at a waterhole in Kaeng Krachan put on a real show for us! Video by guide Jay VanderGaast.
ASHY DRONGO (SOOTY) (Dicrurus leucophaeus bondi) – Though we saw a few of this form in the south, they were far more common up north, where they were generally the most numerous drongo.
ASHY DRONGO (CHINESE WHITE-FACED) (Dicrurus leucophaeus leucogenis) – This was the more common of the two "white-faced" Ashy Drongos, and we saw them often in the south. This form has a large oval white patch around the eyes, and the overall color of the bird is pale gray. [b]
ASHY DRONGO (CHINESE WHITE-FACED) (Dicrurus leucophaeus salangensis) – In this form, the white on the face is more restricted, primarily in the loral area, and the plumage is overall a darker gray than on leucogenis. We had a few of these at Kaeng Krachan. [b]
BRONZED DRONGO (Dicrurus aeneus) – This small shiny drongo is fairly common in most forested areas, though most of our records came from the north.
LESSER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus remifer) – Some of the group saw one fly over on Doi Lang's east slope. Though the bird lacked the elongated tail plumes, Uthai pointed out the squared off tail, which differs from the forked tail of all other drongos in the country.
HAIR-CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus hottentottus) – One of the more gregarious and numerous of the drongos, particularly so on the lower slopes along the road up to Khao Yai NP, where we saw 50+ birds visiting flowering trees and streaming by overhead.
GREATER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus paradiseus) – This fancy drongo was mostly seen in the south, but we also had fine views of some up north, including from the tower at Inthanon Nest.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea) – Especially numerous at Mae Ping NP, where there always seemed to be a couple of birds either in sight, or at least vocalizing nearby.
BLYTH'S PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone affinis) – We rarely encounter this species more than once or twice, and then almost never see a male, and that was again the case this year, as our only sightings were fleeting looks at a couple of females at Kaeng Krachan.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
BROWN SHRIKE (BROWN) (Lanius cristatus cristatus) – Overall Brown Shrikes seemed less numerous than usual, but this was the form we saw most often. This subspecies is easily told from the next by its brown crown and mantle. We saw them a few times in open country, beginning with one at Wat Phai Lom on our first afternoon. [b]
BROWN SHRIKE (PHILIPPINE) (Lanius cristatus lucionensis) – Much grayer overall than the preceding subspecies, and looks more like the larger and more richly-colored Gray-backed Shrike, and we almost mistook one on Doi Inthanon for that species as first. We only identified a couple of this form, with our first being a female at the campground in Khao Yai. [b]
BURMESE SHRIKE (Lanius collurioides) – Bill W. spotted our first, sitting in a low palm next to the track at the Mae Ping NP campground. Our only others were a couple of birds at the Ban Nor Lae army camp on the Myanmar border on Doi Ang Khang.
LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanius schach) – Our first were a couple of birds at the Ban Nor Lae army camp along with a couple of Burmese Shrikes, and our only other sighting was a lone bird at the Mae Ai rice paddies. The subspecies here is tricolor, which has a completely black crown.

The beautiful Coral-billed Scimitar-Babbler was another favorite bird of the trip, and no wonder! But the surprise factor played into it, too, as Uthai hadn’t seen this species on Doi Lang in many years! Photo by participant Bill Williams.

GRAY-BACKED SHRIKE (Lanius tephronotus) – Seen in small numbers in the north, with excellent looks at several, including one visiting the pheasant baiting area on Doi Lang, and another sitting quietly in a bare tree at the Mae Fa Luang Arboretum. [b]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
RED-BILLED BLUE-MAGPIE (Urocissa erythroryncha) – Exceptional views in the campground at Mae Ping, where several birds were feeding on the ground amongst the deer and allowed us super scope looks. Most of my encounters in the past have been with birds flying past, so these were easily my most satisfying views of this species.
COMMON GREEN-MAGPIE (Cissa chinensis) – A lone bird by the military checkpoint at Khao Yai sat very still, but it was so well-hidden in the dense canopy of a roadside tree, that it was very difficult to make out what was bird and what was foliage. When it finally moved, it flew directly across the road and out of sight, never to be seen again.
RUFOUS TREEPIE (Dendrocitta vagabunda) – Our best of several views came when we birded the rice paddies near Inthanon Nest, where we scoped a half dozen birds teed up in the treetops across the paddies.
GRAY TREEPIE (Dendrocitta formosae) – Most of my previous looks at this species were not terribly satisfying flybys, so it was really great to get scope studies of a couple of birds, albeit distant ones, on the east slope of Doi Lang.
RACKET-TAILED TREEPIE (Crypsirina temia) – Few this year, with most of them coming in and around Kaeng Krachan NP. Our lone sighting away from that region was a single bird at the Mae Ai rice paddies.
LARGE-BILLED CROW (Corvus macrorhynchos) – Seen regularly in open country throughout, though more often seen in the south. Uthai sometimes referred to these as Eastern Jungle Crow (subspecies levaillantii), which may one day be split off from other forms including the birds of peninsular Thailand.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
YELLOW-BELLIED FAIRY-FANTAIL (Chelidorhynx hypoxanthus) – Though we first saw these delightful, restless little birds on Doi Inthanon, we had far better encounters on Doi Lang's eastern slope, where several birds showed incredibly well, and offered perfect photo opportunities as they made repeated sallies out from favored perches in pursuit of miniscule insects.
GRAY-HEADED CANARY-FLYCATCHER (Culicicapa ceylonensis) – Multiple sightings were had, but the most cooperative bird was on the edge of a clearing at Wat Tham Pha Plong. It stuck to one particular branch for a lengthy period, competing with a pair of White-throated Fantails for our attention.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
FIRE-CAPPED TIT (Cephalopyrus flammiceps) – A scarce wintering bird in northern Thailand, and the 3 birds we found in a flowering tree on Doi Lang were the first ones I'd ever seen here. All three were in female or non-breeding plumage, so there was no fire in their plumage, but their tiny size, overall yellowish coloration, and narrow yellowish wing-bar helped us nail down their identification. [b]
YELLOW-BROWED TIT (Sylviparus modestus) – Another tiny, nondescript tit, and the name is a bit misleading, as at least the subspecies here has no discernible yellow brow. We had incredible close views of a pair only a meter or so away at the summit bog on Doi inthanon, then had another pair on Doi lang's eastern slope.
SULTAN TIT (Melanochlora sultanea) – A large, striking tit, which showed beautifully a couple of times at Kaeng Krachan.
JAPANESE TIT (JAPANESE) (Parus minor nubicolus) – Formerly treated as a part of the Great Tit complex, (and still treated that way in Uthai's field guide). We saw these a handful of times in the northern mountains, often joining in to mob in response to our Collared Owlet imitations. Kathy's pick as her top bird in the north.

One of a pair of Banded Broadbills that we found at Kaeng Krachan. Photo by participant Craig Caldwell.

YELLOW-CHEEKED TIT (Machlolophus spilonotus) – Regularly encountered in the northern mountain parks, and also often excited by owlet calls. We enjoyed plenty of excellent looks at these handsome birds.
Alaudidae (Larks)
SYKES'S SHORT-TOED LARK (Calandrella dukhunensis) – A vagrant in Thailand, with only 3 previous records in the country (the 3rd coming in November at Laem Pak Bia), making this record of up to 8 birds at Mae Ai rice paddies all the more incredible! It took some time to get a good view of these, but we eventually managed to find a bird (one of three we saw) sitting up on a berm, allowing us all to see it well through the scope. [b]
ORIENTAL SKYLARK (Alauda gulgula) – Our only record was of a pair at the Mae Ai paddies, showing beautifully and at close range, looking much buffier and more crested than the nearby Sykes's Short-toed Larks that were also present there.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
COMMON TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus sutorius) – Heard more often than seen. We had our best views on the final day, when we had a couple come in for meal worms at the Mae Fa Luang Arboretum.
DARK-NECKED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus atrogularis) – Though it occurs throughout the country, we only saw this species in the south, where we had several good sightings at both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai.
HILL PRINIA (Prinia superciliaris) – We heard a bunch of these up north, but never found a coopertive one anywhere. [*]
RUFESCENT PRINIA (Prinia rufescens) – Seen a couple of times on Doi Lang, with pretty good looks, though they initially proved a little elusive. The birds in this region belong to the subspecies beavani.
GRAY-BREASTED PRINIA (Prinia hodgsonii) – Excellent looks at one perched in a bare tree at the Pa Sak woodlands (the Steppe Eagle site).
YELLOW-BELLIED PRINIA (Prinia flaviventris) – Especially numerous at Rangsit, where I believe we also saw our only ones, though we heard them at a number of other marshy sites, too.
PLAIN PRINIA (Prinia inornata) – The easiest to see of the prinias, and the one we saw most often. We had both subspecies that occur in the country, with herberti in the south (well-seen at Rangsit and other areas) and blanfordi in the north (good views near Chiang Mai).
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis) – Some of the group saw one as we walked the berms between the salt pans at Kok Kham, and Uthai and I put up a couple as we tried to flush snipe at the Cho Lae rice paddies.
GOLDEN-HEADED CISTICOLA (Cisticola exilis) – Heard a couple of times in the Khao Yai area, but they stayed out of sight. [*]
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
THICK-BILLED WARBLER (Arundinax aedon) – Generally quite a skulker, but we had wonderful scope views of one that was perched up in a low, bare shrub at Wat Phai Lom. Two subspecies winter in the country, the one we saw was very rusty, and looked to belong to rufescens. [b]

The male Black-breasted Thrush looks similar to the American Robin; the shape and color-palette are almost the same, even though the patterns are different. Photo by participant Bill Williams.

BLACK-BROWED REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus bistrigiceps) – The dry conditions at Rangsit seemed not to be favorable to this species, which is usually pretty common here, as we only glimpsed a single bird there. We fared much better at the Ban Waen lake near Chiang Mai, where the wetter conditions were more to their liking, and we had great looks at a couple of them. [b]
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
STRIATED GRASSBIRD (Megalurus palustris) – One was singing loudly from a dense shrub at Wiang Nong Lom on our final evening of birding, but it just never would come into the open. [*]
PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER-WARBLER (Locustella certhiola) – Another bird that refused to show itself, this one was calling from a dense reed bed at Ban Waen. [b*]
LANCEOLATED WARBLER (Locustella lanceolata) – Always skulking and tough to see, and we only heard this species at a couple of sites. [b*]
BAIKAL BUSH WARBLER (Locustella davidi) – A few folks had quick looks at one of these skulkers in some weedy roadside habitat near Inthanon Nest. [b]
RUSSET BUSH WARBLER (Locustella mandelli) – Another super skulker, this one was heard a couple of times on Doi Lang (the same bird on two days). [*]
Pnoepygidae (Cupwings)
PYGMY CUPWING (Pnoepyga pusilla) – A bit tougher than usual, but we managed pretty decent views of this tiny, mainly terrestrial, bird around the summit bog on Doi Inthanon.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
GRAY-THROATED MARTIN (Riparia chinensis) – A couple of birds were flying low over the Maekong River at Chiang Saen.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – The most commonly seen swallow on the tour, with records on most days. All of the ones we saw had pale underparts, and belong to either of the two races of the Buff-bellied group, either gutturalis or mandschurica. [b]
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – This handsome swallow is somewhat local in the north. We found them at a couple of sites near Chiang Mai, and had some fine views of these sleek birds.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – A lone bird was among Barn Swallows at Rangsit, and a flock of 15-20 was feeding over the campground at Mae Ping NP, also in the company of Barn Swallows. [b]
STRIATED SWALLOW (Cecropis striolata) – Very similar to the above species, and treated as conspecific by some authors (including Uthai's field guide). We saw these first over the rice paddies near Inthanon Nest, then had some excellent looks at a bunch flying about on Doi Ang Khang, giving close views as they flew past post overhead and at times, below eye level.
ASIAN HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon dasypus) – Often seen flying high overhead, but we had a few looks at lower birds, with especially good views of some at Khao Yai. [b]

This Spotted Owlet at a temple in Bangkok has been a reliable sighting for our tour for years! Photo by participant Robin LaFortune.

Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
BLACK-HEADED BULBUL (Brachypodius atriceps) – Seen primarily in the south, where they usually were in close proximity to the more common and conspicuous Black-crested Bulbul.
BLACK-CRESTED BULBUL (Rubigula flaviventris) – One of the most commonly seen bulbuls throughout the trip, from Kaeng Krachan onward, there weren't many days we missed seeing BCBs. Seven of the eight accepted subspecies occur in Thailand, and we saw 4 of them, though the only really distinctive one is johnsoni, the red-throated form we saw in Khao Yai.
CRESTED FINCHBILL (Spizixos canifrons) – A couple of birds up at the top of Doi Lang's west slope, showed pretty well, especially on our second visit, when they came in to feed in a low fruiting tree along the roadside.
STRIATED BULBUL (Pycnonotus striatus) – Only a few this trip, though we kicked off our sightings with nice scope studies of a pair sitting up in some bare branches in the early morning on the lower slopes of Doi Inthanon.
RED-WHISKERED BULBUL (Pycnonotus jocosus) – Scarce in the south, due to excessive trapping for the cage-bird trade, and we only had one record there, a bird seen by several people at Rangsit (I think). Up north they were more numerous, particularly so at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station, where they were the most obvious and numerous bird around. We estimated at least 50+ hanging around there.
BROWN-BREASTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus xanthorrhous) – This species' range just reaches Thailand along the northern border with Myanmar, and both our records were almost right on the border. We saw a trio of them while looking for buntings on Doi Lang, then had a couple more (in no-man's-land) at the Ban Nor Lae army camp on Ang Khang.
SOOTY-HEADED BULBUL (Pycnonotus aurigaster) – A common species of open scrubby areas in the north. Both subspecies we saw--klossi at Mae Ping NP and perhaps Inthanon, and latouchei further north-- belong to the Northern group, which have red vents. Birds in southern Thailand have yellow vents.
STRIPE-THROATED BULBUL (Pycnonotus finlaysoni) – Quite a few were seen at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, though none at all further north, though they do occur widely.
FLAVESCENT BULBUL (Pycnonotus flavescens) – Fairly common and generally pretty confiding and easy to see in the northern mountains.
YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus goiavier) – Seen only on our first couple of days around Bangkok, and especially numerous at Rangsit Marsh where they were the most common bulbul.
STREAK-EARED BULBUL (Pycnonotus conradi) – From the Rama Gardens Hotel grounds onward, we encountered this drab bulbul regularly throughout the tour.
PUFF-THROATED BULBUL (Alophoixus pallidus) – This is the crested, white-throated bulbul we saw several times at Khao Yai, then again at Wat Tham Pha Plong and the east slope of Doi Lang up north.
OCHRACEOUS BULBUL (Alophoixus ochraceus) – And this very similar species is the one we had at Kaeng Krachan.
GRAY-EYED BULBUL (Iole propinqua) – We recorded this drab and inconspicuous bulbul (often by voice) daily at Khao Yai, then had it a couple of times up north as well.
OLIVE BULBUL (BAKER'S) (Iole viridescens cinnamomeoventris) – This one has a pretty checkered taxonomic history, having been treated previously as a subspecies of either Gray-eyed Bulbul or Buff-vented Bulbul. It is now currently regarded as a subspecies of Olive Bulbul, though it could also be bumped up to a full species on its own, Baker's Bulbul. Whatever it is being called, we saw a couple near the stream crossings at Kaeng Krachan.
BLACK BULBUL (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) – Just a few birds this year, with our first pair along Khun Wang Road on Inthanon, followed by a couple of birds on each slope of Doi Lang. Five subspecies occur in Thailand, four of which are winter visitors, and two have white heads. The ones we saw all belonged to the resident race, concolor.
ASHY BULBUL (Hemixos flavala) – Unusually scarce this year, and we only had one record of a pair of birds at Khao Yai.
MOUNTAIN BULBUL (Ixos mcclellandii) – Also seemingly less common than usual, or at least less conspicuous, as we heard them regularly in the northern mountains, but had trouble getting good looks at them. We ultimately did see them both on Inthanon and Ang Khang.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
ASHY-THROATED WARBLER (Phylloscopus maculipennis) – One of the more distinctive and colorful of the leaf-warblers. In Thailand, this one is restricted to upper elevations on Doi Inthanon, where we had great looks at several up at the summit.

Inthanon Resort was a wonderful place to stay while looking for birds in the surrounding mountains. Photo by participant Charlotte Byers.

BUFF-BARRED WARBLER (Phylloscopus pulcher) – Great close views of one that turned up right behind the vans during our coffee break on the summit of Doi Inthanon, then more good views of one or two that hung around near the roadside at our lunch spot on the east slope of Doi Lang. [b]
YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER (Phylloscopus inornatus) – The default leaf-warbler through most of the country, and there weren't many days that we didn't at least hear this species. In fact, we only missed it completely on our full day along the coast south of Bangkok! [b]
HUME'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus humei) – A common wintering bird in the northwest, and especially numerous in the pine zone on Doi Lang's west slope, and even more so at the Mae Fa Luang Arboretum where they were the most numerous of the leaf-warblers (we estimated about 20+). [b]
CHINESE LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus yunnanensis) – During some free time of wandering around the Mae Fa Luang Arboretum on our last day, I happened to be with Terri and Diane when Terri spotted a leaf-warbler that was behaving differently than the others we'd been seeing. It was small, and doing a lot of hover-gleaning, and was overall quite kinglet-like in size and behavior. We also noted the pale yellow rump as it hovered, as well as the pale crown stripe, and had just reached the conclusion that it was this species when Uthai wandered by and confirmed it for us. [b]
RADDE'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus schwarzi) – Often quite an accomplished skulker that can be hard to see, but we had several very cooperative birds this trip, both at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, and had especially good looks of one or two feeding near the lights at the military checkpoint at the top of the road at Khao Yai. [b]
YELLOW-STREAKED WARBLER (Phylloscopus armandii) – Just a lone sighting of a single bird below the Ban Nor Lae army camp. The bird stayed fairly low in a bush below us, but by getting up on a concrete structure (which Uthai later informed us was a crematorium!) we could get clear unobstructed views of it. [b]
DUSKY WARBLER (Phylloscopus fuscatus) – Another skulker we did quite well with, as we got nice views of the first one we tried for at Rangsit, then had a few other scattered sightings despite not putting in any real effort after that. [b]
BUFF-THROATED WARBLER (Phylloscopus subaffinis) – The last of the plain-winged leaf-warblers to show itself to us. We finally tracked down a couple of birds along the roadside on Doi Lang's western slope, and ended up with super looks when one moved up into a pine tree and spent a fair bit of time foraging in view. [b]
GRAY-CROWNED WARBLER (Phylloscopus tephrocephalus) – Our only one on a densely vegetated hillside along Khun Wang Road was only seen briefly by one or two of the group. [b]
MARTENS'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus omeiensis) – This warbler has a call note that sounds very much like that of Wilson's Warbler. We heard a few of these, though most stayed out of sight, with only one or two showing reasonably well on the lower slopes of Doi Inthanon. [b]
ALSTROEM'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus soror) – Just one sighting, but it was a good look at a single bird that was flitting around in the open at the Blue Pitta spot at Khao Yai.
GREENISH WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochiloides) – I think we only saw these around the agricultural station on Doi Ang Khang, though we heard them a few other spots in the northern mountains. [b]
TWO-BARRED WARBLER (Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus) – Recorded a number of times at both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, where they overlapped with the very similar Yellow-browed Warbler, but were pretty easy to separate by call. [b]
PALE-LEGGED LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus tenellipes) – We heard the sharp, metallic chip note of this warbler at a couple of spots in Khao Yai NP, but the birds never showed themselves. [b]

Participant Craig Caldwell caught this gorgeous male Silver Pheasant as he crossed the road in front of our vans.

CHESTNUT-CROWNED WARBLER (Phylloscopus castaniceps) – Our initial view on Inthanon was pretty terrible, as the birds stayed high up and pretty much directly overhead. Luckily, our next encounter on Doi Lang was much better, as a pair foraged with a mixed flock, often feeding at or below eye level and at pretty close range.
SULPHUR-BREASTED WARBLER (Phylloscopus ricketti) – A very distinctive yellow leaf-warbler with prominent crown stripes, making it one of the easier ones to identify. We only had one brief sighting of a bird with a mixed flock along the lower part of the Green Hill Road at Khao Yai. [b]
BLYTH'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus reguloides assamensis) – Very common at the top of Doi Inthanon, a little less so at the top of Doi Lang's eastern slope. The song of this species is very reminiscent of our Common Yellowthroat.
CLAUDIA'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus claudiae) – Most easily told apart from other similar species by behavior, as it often feeds by creeping along tree trunks and large branches in the manner of Black-and-white Warbler. We had a few sightings at Khao Yai, Doi Lang, and the Mae Fa Luang Arboretum. [b]
DAVISON'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus intensior) – Quite numerous in the northern mountains, usually at lower elevations than the similar Blyth's LW, but they do overlap quite a bit. This warbler has more yellow on the face than the paler Blyth's, as well as more white in the tail. The two even sound quite similar, though this species' song is somewhat less emphatic, and it was interesting to hear them both singing in close proximity to each other.
Scotocercidae (Bush Warblers and Allies)
SLATY-BELLIED TESIA (Tesia olivea) – Always quite tricky, but a little more difficult this year than some. We did manage fairly good views at a couple of areas on Doi Inthanon, with the best being a reasonably cooperative one along the summit boardwalk.
CHESTNUT-HEADED TESIA (Cettia castaneocoronata) – Heard at fairly close range on Doi Ang Khang, but that's all we got. I have yet to lay eyes on one of these. [*]
YELLOW-BELLIED WARBLER (Abroscopus superciliaris) – Great looks at an active pair of these pretty warblers in some tall bamboo on Doi Ang Khang, and again the following day on Doi Lang.
MOUNTAIN TAILORBIRD (Phyllergates cucullatus) – Despite its name, and similarity to the tailorbirds, this species is not all that closely related to the true tailorbirds. Their delightful song was heard often in the northern mountains, and we had several nice views, including our first pair that turned up right next to where we were enjoying our morning coffee break on Doi Inthanon.
ABERRANT BUSH WARBLER (Horornis flavolivaceus) – The greatest aberration would have been if this bird had actually showed itself! [b*]
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BLACK-THROATED TIT (Aegithalos concinnus) – Small parties of these beautifully patterned tits entertained us on each of our two visits to DOi Lang's western slope.
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers, Parrotbills, and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED PARROTBILL (Psittiparus gularis) – While waiting in vain for Hume's Pheasant to put in an appearance, we heard a flock of these calling from below the road. We tried to lure them in, but were only partially successful, as just a couple of people got a quick look at one in one of the most distant trees visible.
SPOT-BREASTED PARROTBILL (Paradoxornis guttaticollis) – Several were seen on Doi Lang, including the most famous parrotbill in Thailand, a very bold bird that seems to have no fear of people and regularly sits out in the open singing, just meters away. No doubt it was this endearing confidence that led to Robin, Terri, and Steve all choosing it as their favorite northern Thailand bird.

One of the favorite birds of the tour, this Spot-breasted Parrotbill on Doi Lang was a bit of a showboat, but no one seemed to mind. Photo by participant Robin LaFortune.

Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
WHISKERED YUHINA (Yuhina flavicollis) – Speaking of confiding birds, we had an incredible close views of a couple of pairs of these wonderful yuhinas feeding just over the road on Doi Lang.
CHESTNUT-FLANKED WHITE-EYE (Zosterops erythropleurus) – The only one of the 4 white-eye species in Thailand to not be affected by the major Zosterops overhaul in the latest taxonomic revisions. We saw these regularly at Khao Yai, but many people didn't get a real satisfying look until our early morning visit to the summit of Doi Inthanon, where we had an active flock of 50+ birds showing off their chestnut flanks as they enjoyed the first rays of sunshine on the scrubby slope above the road. [b]
INDIAN WHITE-EYE (Zosterops palpebrosus) – This is the former Oriental White-eye, and the common resident white-eye in the north. WE had a few sightings in the mountains, with some decent looks at the agricultural station on Ang Khang.
HUME'S WHITE-EYE (Zosterops auriventer) – And this species was formerly Everett's White-eye. We had stellar looks at one that joined several other small birds in mobbing in response to our owlet calls. The bird sat directly above us, allowing us an excellent view of the yellow stripe in the center of its belly. We could clearly see where this stripe was cut off from the yellow throat by the dark gray of the upper breast.
Timaliidae (Tree-Babblers, Scimitar-Babblers, and Allies)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BABBLER (Timalia pileata) – Normally a tough to see skulker that remains hidden in the tall grasses it favors, but we had some super views of a quartet of them near dusk at our bat-watching spot at Khao Yai, my best looks yet at this species.
PIN-STRIPED TIT-BABBLER (Mixornis gularis) – A widespread forest bird, and we heard them quite often, but all of our sightings came from Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, where we found them a few times, often in mixed flocks.
GOLDEN BABBLER (Cyanoderma chrysaeum) – Fewer than usual of this stunning little babbler, but the few we saw gave us incredible looks. The first on Doi Inthanon came to within a few feet of us and posed right out in the open, others on Doi Lang foraged at close range with a little mixed flock.
RUFOUS-FRONTED BABBLER (Cyanoderma rufifrons) – Tricky this trip, and the only close ones we met up with on Doi Lang did a good job of staying out of sight, though a few people did get quick looks.
CORAL-BILLED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus ferruginosus) – We'd just gone back to the road from one of the baiting areas on Doi Lang when Uthai excitedly called us to come back down. We hurried back off the road to find a pair of these gorgeous birds, as well as a trio of barwings, gobbling up mealworms! Uthai said he hadn't seen this species here in about 10 years. This was the favorite northern bird of both Bill W. and Craig, and mine too, for the record.
WHITE-BROWED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus schisticeps) – Usually rather sociable, so it was odd to find a lone bird at Khao Yai. It took some work, but it settled down in a dense vine tangle, where we were able to get some nice looks before it moved on. Though we heard a few more up north, this was our only sighting.
LARGE SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Megapomatorhinus hypoleucos) – A pair of birds near dusk at the Kaeng Krachan NP headquarters were unusually cooperative, and showed well, better than I'd ever seen previously. Our only other sighting was a pair at Khao Yai, though we kind of forgot about them when the pair of Red-headed Trogons showed up!
RUSTY-CHEEKED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Megapomatorhinus erythrogenys) – Our only ones were a group of birds that hopped out onto the road a few times at the pheasant viewing area on Doi Lang, showing very well.
GRAY-THROATED BABBLER (Stachyris nigriceps) – Always tough, and not everyone saw the one bird we managed to draw into view on the lower slopes of Inthanon.
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
COLLARED BABBLER (Gampsorhynchus torquatus) – Heard on Doi Lang, but they never came close. [*]
RUFOUS-WINGED FULVETTA (Schoeniparus castaneceps) – These lovely little birds are usually pretty bold and confiding, and we had some excellent close encounters with them both on Inthanon and Doi Lang.
PUFF-THROATED BABBLER (Pellorneum ruficeps) – We worked on a few of these at Kaeng Krachan, and I think everyone, or at least most, did get a look, but I don't recall any one bird that really cooperated for all.
SPOT-THROATED BABBLER (Pellorneum albiventre) – We were so close to one on Doi Ang Khang, but no one even saw so much as a hint of movement in the dense ground cover. [*]

This little Snowy-browed Flycatcher was a great find on the eastern slope of Doi Lang, and so cooperative, too! Photo by participant Bill Williams.

BUFF-BREASTED BABBLER (Pellorneum tickelli) – When I spotted a small, drab brown bird hopping about in the dark understory below the White-throated Fantails at Wat Tham Pha Plong, I was quite convinced (but not confident) it was actually a Lesser Shortwing. Luckily, Uthai was there to set me straight, and identified it as this species instead. In my defense, I've only seen this species once before, several years ago, and have never had a good look at the shortwing, and I've just read a shortwing account that treats the babbler under the "Similar species" section. I'll chalk that one up to learning on the job.
EYEBROWED WREN-BABBLER (Napothera epilepidota) – Our usual sites for this bird came up empty, but Uthai had a backup backup location on Doi Lang, and that one came through for us, with the bird showing well as it returned several times to the same perch on the edge of the forest.
ABBOTT'S BABBLER (Turdinus abbotti) – At our lunch spot one day at Khao Yai, we lured one into the edge of the clearing, and enjoyed super scope views of it as it sang from an open perch near the base of a large tree trunk.
LIMESTONE WREN-BABBLER (RUFOUS) (Turdinus crispifrons calcicola) – We arrived at the site for this species, the grounds of a wat near Khao Yai, much earlier than usual, and had high hopes of getting it quickly and moving on, but the bird had other ideas. It took much longer for us to track down (perhaps they just weren't very active in mid-afternoon), and it was starting to appear that we might miss it, when our driver, Jock, spied one foraging in the dry leaf litter near a staircase we had just come down. We all ended up with great looks at this restricted range taxon, which is only found in a small area of central Thailand, and which may be split someday, in which case it is a Thailand endemic.
STREAKED WREN-BABBLER (Turdinus brevicaudatus) – This was the wren-babbler that gave us the least amount of trouble, and we had some nice looks at a pair creeping about on a rocky outcrop next to the Ang Khang Agricultural Station.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
BROWN-CHEEKED FULVETTA (Alcippe poioicephala) – Heard along the road at Kaeng Krachan, but stayed well out of sight. [*]
YUNNAN FULVETTA (Alcippe fratercula) – Pretty common in the northern mountains, and though the first few eluded most people, eventually everyone had plenty of good looks.
HIMALAYAN CUTIA (Cutia nipalensis) – Calling well above the road at Doi Lang, but not from where we could see them. [*]
WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax leucolophus) – Laughingthrushes can be a real pain to see, but this is usually one of the more cooperative species. We had a couple of fantastic encounters with these handsome birds including amazing close views of 4 as we waited (and hoped) for Blue Pitta to show itself at Khao Yai, and another flock of 6 birds that sat out in the open preening, as seen from the tower at Inthanon Nest.
LESSER NECKLACED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax monileger) – The two necklaced species are usually among the more difficult of the laughingthrushes to see, and our first encounter with both species at Kaeng Krachan was typically frustrating. But we got lucky at the park HQ, where we found a pair of each species feeding side by side on the ground in front of one of the buildings, and had incredibly good views of both before they headed for cover.
WHITE-NECKED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax strepitans) – We heard these ones call once on Doi Lang, then they went completely silent, never to be heard again. [*]
GREATER NECKLACED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla pectoralis) – Those side by side views with the pair of Lessers were pretty unbeatable. This one has the dark eyes, broader black breast band, and black streaks on the cheeks.
BLACK-THROATED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla chinensis) – Our only sighting was of a group of half a dozen very cooperative birds at the military checkpoint at Khao Yai.

This male Asian Emerald Cuckoo was one of two that we saw; the other one was a flyover, but this one sat and posed nicely! Photo by guide Jay VanderGaast.

WHITE-BROWED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla sannio) – A group of 8 or more of these attractive birds showed beautifully as they fed on the road in front of us at the pheasant-viewing area on Doi Lang, in the company of the Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babblers.
SILVER-EARED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron melanostigma) – This fancy laughingthrush is one of the easiest ones to see here, as they've been habituated by years of baiting with mealworms at several sites in the northern mountains.
BLACK-BACKED SIBIA (Heterophasia melanoleuca) – Though I wasn't worried about missing this species, I did find it quite odd that we just weren't seeing them over our first few days in the northern mountains, as they are usually quite common and pretty easy to see. Fortunately the ravenous horde on Doi Lang were hungry and put on a good show, though we could clearly see that the name Dark-backed Sibia might be more appropriate.
SILVER-EARED MESIA (Leiothrix argentauris) – A very colorful, fancy laughingthrush, that is always a delight to see. Our first one was arguably our best, as it sat still for a long time singing, and we got to see it through the scope, though it took Terri to spot it for us initially (being tall isn't always an advantage). Later we had a small group of them zip through in another area on Inthanon, and then had pretty good views of a larger group (maybe 10-12 birds) on Doi Ang Khang.
RUFOUS-BACKED SIBIA (Minla annectens) – Only a few folks got looks of this one as it moved along with a mixed flock on the lower slopes of Doi Inthanon. We never did connect with another, though we heard a pair calling a few days later on Doi Lang.
SCARLET-FACED LIOCICHLA (Liocichla ripponi) – Another very fancy laughingthrush, and this one treated us to some amazing close views on Doi Lang, where they had lunch with us, though they dined on mealworms and bananas rather than the delicious curry Wat prepared for us!
SPECTACLED BARWING (Actinodura ramsayi) – I really thought we were going to miss this attractive bird, but then that trio came in to feast alongside the Coral-billed Scimitar-Babblers and all was right with the world.
BLUE-WINGED MINLA (Actinodura cyanouroptera) – Fewer than usual, but we met up with these a few times in the northern mountains. The blue in the wings isn't always easy to see, but I think we fared pretty well, particularly with the birds on our last morning at the Mae Fa Luang Arboretum.
CHESTNUT-TAILED MINLA (Actinodura strigula) – Another lovely, fancy laughingthrush, this one is fortunately quite common and very easy to see up at the summit of Doi Ang Khang, and we enjoyed multiple wonderful sightings there.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
BURMESE NUTHATCH (Sitta neglecta) – One of the specialties of the dry dipterocarp forest at Mae Ping NP, where we had a fantastic looks at them on both days.
CHESTNUT-VENTED NUTHATCH (Sitta nagaensis) – Common and seen regularly in the north, though I believe this was the first time I've seen them come down to the road for the grains used by the photographers to try to lure the pheasants in.
VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH (Sitta frontalis) – We had these lovely, violet-blue nuthatches on a number of days, but it was hard to beat that first pair at the Kaeng Krachan campground that was feeding so low and close with a little mixed party of birds.
GIANT NUTHATCH (Sitta magna) – With a very restricted global range, and a small and declining population (estimated at 1000-2500 individuals), this nuthatch is listed as Endangered, though it seems to be doing reasonably well in NW Thailand. We had a memorable sighting of these birds on Doi Lang, with one spending several minutes on an open perch, singing, as we enjoyed lengthy scope views and took loads of pictures and videos!
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
HUME'S TREECREEPER (Certhia manipurensis shanensis) – Though it looks pretty similar to our Brown Creeper (except for that really long tail!) this creeper sure sounds different. We had a couple of nice views on Doi Inthanon.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
GOLDEN-CRESTED MYNA (Ampeliceps coronatus) – A small flock of these uncommon mynas perched up in some bare branches near a fruiting fig tree at Kaeng Krachan.
COMMON HILL MYNA (Gracula religiosa) – Small numbers in both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, including one pair that was seen bringing twigs into a cavity on a large dead tree at the former park. [N]
BLACK-COLLARED STARLING (Gracupica nigricollis) – After struggling with this species a bit on last year's tour, it was good to kick off the trip with a flock of 9 birds on the football field at Rama Gardens. We also saw these birds a number of times in the north.
ASIAN PIED STARLING (Gracupica contra) – Also seen right off the bat, alongside the above species on the football pitch, then subsequently seen a number of times, mainly in and around rice paddies.

Painted Storks, like these two stalking across a wetland, are becoming more common in Thailand, especially near Bangkok. Photo by participant Craig Caldwell.

CHESTNUT-TAILED STARLING (Sturnia malabarica) – Our lone sighting was a flock of 13 birds that landed briefly in a roadside shrub near the Mae Ai paddies, while we were driving between birding sites.
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – Numerous, and seen almost daily, except in good forest areas.
GREAT MYNA (Acridotheres grandis) – Also common and seen most days in appropriate agricultural and urban areas.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
DARK-SIDED THRUSH (Zoothera marginata) – A bird of dark, dank areas, and that's just the kind of place we found our only ones, feeding alongside a bunch of Black-breasted Thrushes in a muddy area below the cafe at Doi Ang Khang.
SCALY THRUSH (Zoothera dauma) – While searching for forktails on the lower slopes of Inthanon, I accidentally flushed one of these thrushes from a swampy area along a little rivulet. Fortunately we saw where it landed, and I think everyone got pretty good views before a whistling-thrush chased it off.
GRAY-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Turdus boulboul) – It was a good winter for thrushes, particularly at the Mae Fa Luang Arboretum, where a number of rare and/or irruptive species were being seen, and were being baited in to feeding areas around the arboretum. This was one of them, and we had some great looks at at least a couple of males that came in for mealworms at the feeding area. This is just the 4th time in the last 15 years that we've seen this species on the tour. [b]
BLACK-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus dissimilis) – At least 8 birds (3 males, 5 females) feeding below the cafe at Ang Khang, as well as a single bird at the arboretum. The males are very reminiscent of our American Robins.
GRAY-SIDED THRUSH (Turdus feae) – One among some Eyebrowed Thrushes at the summit of Doi Inthanon was missed by most, so it was great to find a couple of these at the arboretum, and to see them so well, especially the one that dropped in for some mealworms. [b]
EYEBROWED THRUSH (Turdus obscurus) – Ironically, this thrush, which is usually the most commonly seen one, seemed to be down in numbers this winter, and we only had a few sightings up north, including 4 or 5 at the arboretum. [b]
CHESTNUT THRUSH (Turdus rubrocanus) – An irruptive winter visitor, though the last irruption was several years ago. We had a handsome male come in for some worms at the arboretum. [b]
DUSKY THRUSH (Turdus eunomus) – One of the big attractions at the arboretum was this striking thrush, and we found it with ease, spotting it sitting atop a bare tree before we'd actually started down into the arboretum. We ended up getting incredible close views of it, and some really excellent photos, too! [b]
NAUMANN'S THRUSH (Turdus naumanni) – The other big attraction at the arboretum, even more so than the Dusky, as this is a much rarer species in Thailand. We also saw this one immediately, as it was teed up near the Dusky Thrush upon our arrival, and luckily sat there until everyone returned from the toilets! After that initial sighting, we never saw this bird again. There had been some discussion that this might have been a hybrid (between this and Dusky), but I believe it was decided that it was just a first-winter female Naumann's. [b]
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa dauurica) – A widespread winter visitor, though we only found these a number of times in the south. [b]

This flower looks similar to the much larger Rafflesia that we see on Field Guides Borneo tours. It belongs to a related genus, Sapria, that is found in Thailand and other east Asian countries. Photo by participant Charlotte Byers.

ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus saularis) – A common urban species, seen regularly, including around many of our lodgings.
WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA (Copsychus malabaricus) – A widespread species, though it is often shy and hard to see. We did have several good sightings, including a gorgeous long-tailed male that posed in the open at Wat Phra Phuttabat Noi, and some mealworm addicts at a couple of sites.
WHITE-GORGETED FLYCATCHER (Anthipes monileger) – A few birds at some of the baiting areas in the northern mountains, including one bird on Doi Lang that was missing the tip of its upper mandible, but still seemed to be doing all right.
HAINAN BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis hainanus) – The blue flycatcher with the white, rather than orange, belly. Encountered regularly at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai.
PALE BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis unicolor) – We heard one singing its lovely, complex song, on Doi Lang, but couldn't reel it in. [*]
CHINESE BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis glaucicomans) – Super close views of a lovely male along the stream at the Kaeng Krachan campgrounds. This one was previously lumped with Blue-throated Flycatcher, but differs in having a wedge of orange extending into the throat from the breast, much like a male Vivid Niltava. [b]
HILL BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis banyumas) – Though our first was a female at Khao Yai, all our subsequent records were from the north, where we encountered them regularly, and had some excellent studies of males including one at the feeders at Mae Fa Luang Arboretum. One male we saw bathing in a river in atypical habitat for this species also seemed to show more extensive orange in the belly, and had us considering the rare Large Blue Flycatcher, but looking at the photos some of you took, we were able to see that the pattern of the underparts --orange darkest on the throat, and grading into the white belly-- matched this species, not Large. In Large, the throat would have shown paler than the breast.
INDOCHINESE BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis sumatrensis) – Our first was a female at Wat Phra Phuttabat Noi. Our only male came a few days later, when Robin spotted one perched on the edge of the forest at the Huai Hong Khrai Royal Project near Chiang Mai.
LARGE NILTAVA (Niltava grandis) – A singing bird in the forest on Doi Inthanon was deftly picked out by Kathy, and everyone was able to get a nice view before it vanished. But our best views were on Doi Lang, where at least a couple of males and females were hanging around the baiting areas.
SMALL NILTAVA (Niltava macgrigoriae) – Though some of the group saw a small shadow zip past overhead, this was essentially a heard-only bird on Doi Ang Khang. [*]
RUFOUS-BELLIED NILTAVA (Niltava sundara) – Only a few folks saw this one, a female, in a dense, dark stand of bamboo on Ang Khang. [b]
VIVID NILTAVA (Niltava vivida) – We also had just one female of this species, along the main road near the park entrance on Doi Inthanon. Her overall dull grayish plumage and lack of any blue marking on the neck eliminated the other two similar niltavas. [b]
VERDITER FLYCATCHER (Eumyias thalassinus) – This species' penchant for foraging from high, exposed perches makes them one of the easiest of the flycatchers to see, and we had many great looks at these gorgeous birds. Verditer is a light bluish-green pigment, hence the name of this species.
LESSER SHORTWING (Brachypteryx leucophris) – Heard a couple of times on Inthanon and Doi Lang, but never really close. [*]
HIMALAYAN SHORTWING (Brachypteryx cruralis) – Perhaps the dry conditions had something to do with it, but for whatever reason, this species was tougher than usual, and only a couple of people got to see one along the boardwalk in the summit bog on Doi Inthanon. A recent split from White-browed Shortwing.
SIBERIAN BLUE ROBIN (Larvivora cyane) – Only a couple of sightings at Khao Yai, including a lovely male that showed well while we waited for the ground-cuckoo that never showed. [b]
WHITE-BELLIED REDSTART (Luscinia phaenicuroides) – Though a male had been rumored to be hanging around one of the feeding areas on Doi Lang, we had to content ourselves with a female this year. [b]
BLUETHROAT (Luscinia svecica) – Quite good views of one foraging along the edge of a pond near the Mae Ai rice paddies near dusk. [b]
BLUE WHISTLING-THRUSH (BLACK-BILLED) (Myophonus caeruleus caeruleus) – We saw both types of this species in roughly equal numbers, and on a couple of occasions at the same site. This black-billed bird breeds in western China and winters in the northern Thailand, and we saw them as singles at several mountain areas. [b]

Guide Jay VanderGaast got a great video of a little Yellow-bellied Fairy Fantail as it chased tiny insects. What a cutie!
BLUE WHISTLING-THRUSH (YELLOW-BILLED) (Myophonus caeruleus eugenei) – And this is the resident breeding form in much of Thailand, and we had scattered records in several areas of the north.
WHITE-CROWNED FORKTAIL (Enicurus leschenaulti) – Though I've seen this species quite a few times, it's usually quite elusive and hard to get good views of, so it was wonderful to have such a cooperative bird feeding at the water's edge in the summit bog on Doi Inthanon.
BLACK-BACKED FORKTAIL (Enicurus immaculatus) – Only a few of us saw this, thanks to Craig alerting us to movement on the right bank of a river on Doi Inthanon. In response to his announcement, several of us raised our bins to scan the river, just in time to have this bird fly across the river and through our field of view. Ironically, Craig wasn't one of those that saw it.
SLATY-BACKED FORKTAIL (Enicurus schistaceus) – It took a couple of visits to the right spot near the fish hatchery on Inthanon, but the second visit came up aces, with great views of a couple of birds (my best looks ever), sitting on the buttress of a large tree on the river bank.
SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT (Calliope calliope) – A few folks saw this species under natural conditions at the spot where we were searching for a vagrant warbler near Chiang Mai. For the rest of us, the mealworm enthusiasts at Mae Taeng Irrigation Project and on Doi Lang had to do, but they did very nicely. [b]
WHITE-TAILED ROBIN (Myiomela leucura) – Just one female on Doi Ang Khang this year.
HIMALAYAN BLUETAIL (Tarsiger rufilatus) – Our first few birds, one at the summit bog on Inthanon, and a couple on Doi Lang, were all females, and I must admit that I'm not convinced I can separate the two bluetails based on the female plumage. Luckily there was also a male present on Doi Lang, and we had great looks at him as he foraged on the road ahead of us. The pale blue supercilium was the key field mark; on Red-flanked Bluetail the supercilium would have been whitish. [b]
SLATY-BACKED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula erithacus) – Another species that seemed to be less numerous than usual this year. After our initial sighting of 5 or 6 birds in the early morning near the summit of Doi Inthanon, we had just two more records-- a male on Doi Lang, and a female at the arboretum. [b]
SLATY-BLUE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula tricolor) – Only a couple of the group saw a male along the roadside on the lower slopes of Doi inthanon. Later, a lone female put on a better show at one of the feeding areas on Doi Lang. [b]
SNOWY-BROWED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula hyperythra) – I don't think I've seen a male of this species since my first tour, so it was great to get such wonderful looks at a very confiding one on the eastern slope of Doi Lang, our only one for the tour.
RUFOUS-GORGETED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula strophiata) – Several were seen over a few days on Doi Lang and Doi Ang Khang, with a number of nice looks at males. [b]
SAPPHIRE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula sapphira) – A lone bird high above the road at Doi Inthanon, followed by better views on a couple of days at Doi Lang. I think all the birds were males, which, though in non-breeding plumage at this time of year, are still pretty nice. [b]
LITTLE PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula westermanni) – We had some great looks at a couple of males of this one, first with a small flock along the main road on Inthanon, then near our picnic lunch area on Doi Lang.

Silver-eared Laughingthrush is one of the easier laughingthrushes to see, but it has such amazing colors that we were happy to get good studies. Photo by participant Craig Caldwell.

ULTRAMARINE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula superciliaris) – It's almost ridiculous how habituated that one bird on Doi Lang has become. As soon as you pull up beside the spot where it's been fed for the last few years, it flies down to the roadside, and sits there patiently waiting for an offering of worms. I'm not complaining, though, as it's a real pleasure to see this gorgeous bird so well. We did also see a somewhat less habituated bird, (also a male) as well, further up the road at the pheasant area. [b]
TAIGA FLYCATCHER (Ficedula albicilla) – Arguably the most common wintering flycatcher in the country. At least it was in our experience, as there weren't many days that we didn't pick up a few of these. [b]
BLUE-FRONTED REDSTART (Phoenicurus frontalis) – A rare winter visitor to Thailand. Though the female we saw on our final morning at the arboretum had been known to be around for a couple of months, the stunning male we found near the summit of Inthanon was our own discovery, which made it all the sweeter! This was only our 3rd sighting of this species on the past 15 years of Thailand tours. [b]
PLUMBEOUS REDSTART (Phoenicurus fuliginosus) – A very confiding female was seen on both of our visits to the fish hatchery area on Doi Inthanon.
WHITE-CAPPED REDSTART (Phoenicurus leucocephalus) – Also at the fish hatchery, and this one was even more confiding, allowing long, close up views, and more than a few pictures. [b]
DAURIAN REDSTART (Phoenicurus auroreus) – A male has been wintering at the army camp on Doi Ang Khang for at least a few years now, and most of us did get him there, but he wasn't the best behaved bird of the trip. It seemed to wait until several people were distracted by our drivers distributing snacks, then dropped in quickly for a few worms, and was gone again before some of the group were able to see him. [b]
CHESTNUT-BELLIED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola rufiventris) – Diane and Terri were the only ones lucky enough to see one of these, a female, when they went off to the rest rooms after our picnic lunch oN Doi Ang Khang.
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola solitarius) – Our only records of this species were of females seen at two different sites at Khao Yai. I don't believe females are reliably identifiable to subspecies, and both pandoo and philippensis are possible here, though the only males I recall seeing in the park in the past have all been philippensis. [b]
SIBERIAN STONECHAT (STEJNEGER'S) (Saxicola maurus stejnegeri) – Seen in small numbers in many of the open country areas visited. [b]
PIED BUSHCHAT (Saxicola caprata) – Very few overall, with just one each in Doi Inthanon NP and at the Mae Taeng Irrigation Project, then a couple at Mae Ai rice paddies.
GRAY BUSHCHAT (Saxicola ferreus) – Especially numerous on the west slope of Doi Lang, where they are also easy to see as they are regulars at the buffets set out for the pheasants.
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
YELLOW-VENTED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum chrysorrheum) – Though we had our initial views of this strikingly marked flowerpecker at Kaeng Krachan, our best views came at the campground at Khao Yai where one bird fed in a fruiting fig tree just above us.
YELLOW-BELLIED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum melanozanthum) – In my experience, this large flowerpecker is not an overly common bird, so it was great to get such good looks at a female perched atop a tall tree at the agricultural station on Doi Ang Khang.

Olive-backed Sunbird was common in the lowlands of the south. Photo by participant Bill Byers.

PLAIN FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum minullum) – An easily overlooked species, especially as it so closely resembles females of several other more common species. We found a pair in a mistletoe-laden tree along the roadside on the lower slopes of Doi Inthanon, together with a pair of Fire-breasted Flowerpeckers so we could really see the subtle differences between them.
FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (FIRE-BREASTED) (Dicaeum ignipectus ignipectus) – The common flowerpecker at upper elevations in the northern mountains, and we had several fine views of them there, including the aforementioned pair alongside the Plain Flowerpeckers on Inthanon.
FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (CAMBODIAN) (Dicaeum ignipectus cambodianum) – Treated as a full species by some authorities, this distinctive form has a very restricted range in eastern Thailand and neighboring Cambodia. We saw several at Khao Yai, including at least one well-marked male with a black belly stripe. Watch for it to be split in the near future.
SCARLET-BACKED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum cruentatum) – The country's most widespread and familiar flowerpecker, and a common garden bird, even right in Bangkok, where we saw our first ones on the grounds of the Rama Gardens hotel.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
RUBY-CHEEKED SUNBIRD (Chalcoparia singalensis) – Just a couple of sightings at Kaeng Krachan and a single bird at Khao Yai.
BROWN-THROATED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes malacensis) – Our only record was of a lone male on the Rama Gardens grounds on our first morning.
VAN HASSELT'S SUNBIRD (Leptocoma brasiliana) – We also had just one record of this species, though we saw 3 birds, including 2 gorgeous males, near the Tha Dan River bridge at Khao Yai. Depending on which field guide you are using, this one may be called either Purple-throated Sunbird or Maroon-bellied Sunbird.
PURPLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris asiaticus) – We saw a number of these in dry dipterocarp woodland in the north.
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris jugularis) – Probably the most familiar sunbird in most of the country, this species is often numerous at lower elevations. We had most of our sightings in the south this trip, starting at the Rama Gardens.
BLACK-THROATED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga saturata) – Pretty drab until you get a male in the right light, and luckily we did a couple of times. These were pretty regular in the northern mountains, though we encountered our first ones at Khao Yai.
MRS. GOULD'S SUNBIRD (Aethopyga gouldiae) – The subspecies dabryii (aka Scarlet-breasted Sunbird), winters in northern Thailand, as is arguably the most numerous sunbird at mid to upper elevations here. [b]
GREEN-TAILED SUNBIRD (DOI INTHANON) (Aethopyga nipalensis angkanensis) – This distinctive subspecies is restricted to the upper regions on Doi Inthanon, where we found them side by side with the previous species. Both species have red chests here, but the green head and tail of the males helps set this one apart.
CRIMSON SUNBIRD (Aethopyga siparaja) – Just a few birds in Kaeng Krachan and Khao yai, though that fortunately included at least a couple handsome males.

Participant Robin LaFortune got a nice shot of one of the White-handed Gibbons we watched foraging at Khao Yai.

LITTLE SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera longirostra) – A very restless one along a track at Khao Yai probably didn't show itself as well as anyone would have wished.
STREAKED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera magna) – Not uncommon in the mountains of the north, though far more often heard than seen well. We did have at least a few good looks, particularly on Doi Lang.
Irenidae (Fairy-bluebirds)
ASIAN FAIRY-BLUEBIRD (Irena puella) – As usual, seen mostly in Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, where we had several good views, but we also had nice scope studies of three birds (2 males and a female) sitting out on bare branches in the wooded valley surrounding Wat Tham Pha Plong.
Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)
BLUE-WINGED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis cochinchinensis) – The common leafbird in the southern parks, where we saw them pretty much daily.
GOLDEN-FRONTED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis aurifrons) – Just a couple of sightings, first a pair at Mae Ping, then 5 or more seen very well from the tower at Inthanon Nest.
ORANGE-BELLIED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis hardwickii) – Small numbers on several days at mid-upper elevations in the northern mountains.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
BAYA WEAVER (Ploceus philippinus) – Not very memorable at this time of year, as they are in nondescript non-breeding plumage, like all the weavers here. We had a single bird our first afternoon at Wat Thian Thawai, then a small group each at Rangsit and Mae Taeng Irrigation Project.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
RED AVADAVAT (Amandava amandava) – Can be a tricky bird to see well, as they often stay hidden away in tall, rank grass, but from our lunch spot at Mae Taeng, we were able to look down at a spot where a group of 8 or more, with at least several crimson males, were evidently bathing and spent some time perched on bare branches just above the water.
WHITE-RUMPED MUNIA (Lonchura striata) – Few were seen, but we some of those were seen well, especially a lone bird that began feeding on the road as we were enjoying our coffee break just prior to leaving Rangsit.
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) – The most often seen and numerous of the munias, with flocks of 25+ recorded at several areas of suitable open habitat.
CHESTNUT MUNIA (Lonchura atricapilla) – Seen mainly at Pak Thale, where most of the group were able to get scope views of a couple feeding in the weedy margins of one of the salt pans.
JAVA SPARROW (Lonchura oryzivora) – Introduced into Bangkok, where there is now a self-sustaining population. Many of us had a single bird near the end of our morning stroll around the Rama Gardens grounds, while for others, one or two birds among the houses at Rangsit allowed them to catch up with this bird. [I]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus indicus) – Only around Bangkok (Rama Gardens, Rangsit), where they were way outnumbered by Eurasian Tree Sparrows.
PLAIN-BACKED SPARROW (Passer flaveolus) – Only a couple of sightings of this attractive sparrow, with a couple of birds in a rice paddy at Wat Phai Lom, then a few birds around rice paddies near Inthanon Nest, including one lovely male repeatedly attacking his reflection in a large window.
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) – The common Passer through most of the country, and we had them throughout in suitable areas.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea) – Prefers clear upland lakes and rivers, and less likely than the other wagtails to be found in coastal regions or rice paddies. We had a handful of sightings in the north. [b]
EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Motacilla tschutschensis) – A few birds at Rangsit and down along the coast, none of which we positively identified to subspecies, but I think most if not all belonged to the Eastern group, so either nominate or plexa. [b]
CITRINE WAGTAIL (Motacilla citreola) – Seen only in the rice paddies at Cho Lae, where there were 8-10 present. [b]
WHITE WAGTAIL (Motacilla alba) – Fair numbers at several suitable sites in the north, and as usual, most of the birds belonged to the most commonly occurring form, leucopsis, aka Chinese Wagtail, separable by the white face, detached black bib, and black crown, nape, and mantle. At least one or two birds along the Maekong River looked like they might be of the subspecies baicalensis (Transbaikalian Wagtail) as they looked quite similar to the Chinese Wagtails but had gray, rather than black, mantles. [b]
PADDYFIELD PIPIT (Anthus rufulus) – Oddly scarce this trip, and we saw only a couple at the Cho Lae rice paddies, then 10+ at the Mae Ai paddies.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus hodgsoni) – Mainly a pipit of forest clearings and tracks, and many of our records were from such areas, including the campground at Kaeng Krachan and the pheasant feeding area on Doi Lang. [b]
RED-THROATED PIPIT (Anthus cervinus) – A wonderfully distinctive pipit, and we had some great studies of them at the Mae Ai paddies where there were 10+ present among the other pipits and larks. [b]
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
SPOT-WINGED GROSBEAK (Mycerobas melanozanthos) – We don't get these lovely grosbeaks every year, so it was awesome to have some fantastic studies of 15-20 birds in the emergent trees surrounding the gardens at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station.

Mr T. (second from left) always insists on a group photo after our morning of birding from his tower at Inthanon Nest. Participant Charlotte Byers was happy to oblige him.

COMMON ROSEFINCH (Carpodacus erythrinus) – Part of the group saw a single female bird near the cafe at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station. [b]
Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)
CRESTED BUNTING (Emberiza lathami) – Skittish as usual, but we found 10+ birds in the scrubby fields near the helipad on Doi Lang, and got scope views of a few, including one handsome male. [b]
CHESTNUT BUNTING (Emberiza rutila) – Even in non-breeding plumage, this is a good-looking bunting. We had a couple of birds near the military checkpoint at the top of the road on Doi Lang's west slope, on each of our two visits. [b]

LYLE'S FLYING FOX (Pteropus lylei) – Seeing a small number of these rare fruit bats roosting in the mangroves at Laem Pak Bia was great, but I really enjoyed seeing 3 flying overhead at dusk just after we'd arrived at our hotel the previous evening. This species is restricted to southern Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
WRINKLE-LIPPED FREE-TAILED BAT (Chaerephon plicatus) – The show was a little underwhelming this year, as the bats never really came close, but we still saw thousands of them drifting like smoke across the dusk sky near Khao Yai.
CRAB-EATING MACAQUE (Macaca fascigularis) – Aka Long-tailed Macaque. We missed this along the coast, but saw a bunch of habituated ones as we searched for wren-babblers at Wat Phra Phuttabat Noi.
PIGTAIL MACAQUE (Macaca nemestrina) – Lots along the roads in Khao Yai, where they mooch for food from the hordes of tourists in the the park.
STUMP-TAILED MACAQUE (Macaca arctoides) – We've rarely encountered this monkey on the tour (just once since 2004) and it was a new species for me. We had great looks at one drinking from one of the waterholes along the main road at Kaeng Krachan, with a second one hiding in the forest behind it.
DUSKY LEAF MONKEY (Presbytis obscura) – Common and easily seen at Kaeng Krachan. The pale circles around their eyes really make them look quite gentle.
PILEATED GIBBON (Hylobates pileatus) – Only at Khao Yai on our tour route, and generally much shyer and harder to see than the next species. In fact, this was the first trip on which I've ever had so much as a glimpse. To be honest, my views of that black male wasn't much better than a glimpse, though I think some of you saw it better, and perhaps the female, too. This gibbon has a very small range limited to SE Thailand, and adjacent Cambodia and Laos, west of the Maekong River.
WHITE-HANDED GIBBON (Hylobates lar) – Heard often, and we enjoyed a fantastic encounter with a couple of blonde individuals foraging for figs in a roadside tree at Khao Yai. We also heard their wonderful calls regularly both there and at Kaeng Krachan.
BLACK GIANT SQUIRREL (Ratufa bicolor) – Several of these massive squirrels were seen feeding in fruiting trees at both of the big national parks in the south.
MOUNTAIN RED-BELLIED SQUIRREL (Callosciurus flavimanus) – Singles were seen on three days in the northern mountains. We also had a squirrel on the grounds of the Rama Gardens that I first thought was this species, but later decided it was a variety of the extremely variable Finlayson's Squirrel.
FINLAYSON'S SQUIRREL (Callosciurus finlaysoni) – Numerous around Bangkok (especially at the Rama Gardens) and Khao Yai, and we saw a number of different color morphs, including some very blonde ones.
GRAY-BELLIED SQUIRREL (Callosciurus caniceps) – Seen regularly at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai. This one almost always shows a black tip to the tail.
HIMALAYAN STRIPED SQUIRREL (Tamiops macclellandi) – The small, chipmunk-like squirrel seen often scurrying around in the trees throughout the tour.
INDOCHINESE GROUND SQUIRREL (Menetes berdmorei) – Just one was seen as we looked for the thick-knees on the grounds of the university near Phetchaburi.
COMMON PORCUPINE (Hystrix brachyura) – The amount of scat from this species on the roads at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai attests to how common they are at these parks, though they are mainly nocturnal, and I'd never seen one prior to this tour. We had close encounters with one that emerged onto the road in the late afternoon at Khao Yai as we were walking back to the vans. It scurried back and forth across the road a couple of times before ducking into the undergrowth and vanishing. Cool animal!
CRAB-EATING MONGOOSE (Herpestes urva) – One of these large yellow-tailed mongooses was seen briefly as it crossed the road ahead of the vans at Khao Yai.

This Dusky Leaf Monkey looks tired, but satisfied, just like us at the end of this great tour! Photo by participant Craig Caldwell.

INDIAN ELEPHANT (Elephas maximus) – A wonderful sighting of one at one of the Kaeng Krachan waterholes (my first sighting at this park!), repeatedly dipping its trunk into the pond, then spraying water all over itself before it turned tail and strolled off into the forest. We also heard elephants a couple of other times.
MUNTJAC (BARKING DEER) (Muntiacus muntjak) – Those of us in the second van thought we were looking at a kingfisher when the first van pulled up alongside a waterhole at Kaeng Krachan, at least until this small deer ran up the bank from a spot we'd been unable to see. Later we had daily sightings of these at Khao Yai.
HOG DEER (Axis porcinus) – These were the rather short-legged, stocky deer seen at the campground at Mae Ping NP. Previously extirpated from much of their range, including Thailand, and the population here as part of a reintroduction into the park.
SAMBAR (Cervus unicolor) – These large deer were seen daily at Khao Yai, where they are pretty habituated and regularly hang out at the campgrounds and other areas with heavy tourist influence.
ELD'S DEER (Rucervus eldii) – The larger, paler deer at Mae Ping. As with the Hog Deer, the population here is part of a reintroduction program after the extirpation of this species in the wild in Thailand.
GOLDEN TREE SNAKE (Chrysopelea ornata) – We saw this one at Kaeng Krachan, initially in the leaf littler, but it quickly climbed into a tree and eventually disappeared somewhere over the track. I didn't realize it at the time, but this is one of the snake species that can flatten its body and glide through the air!
BANDED BULLFROG (Kaloula pulchra) – Several of these were hopping about in the restaurant (and one was on my toilet!) at KKCC.
TOKAY GECKO (Gekko gecko) – Lots of these huge geckos this trip, more than I recall on previous outings, and we saw and heard plenty.
WATER MONITOR (Varanus salvator) – Good numbers around Bangkok and along the coast.


Totals for the tour: 490 bird taxa and 21 mammal taxa